WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1974

The WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1974 defined terms like pollution, sewage effluent, trade effluent, stream, and boards.

The salient features of WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1974

  • The Act provides for maintenance and restoration of quality of all types of surface and groundwater.
  • Controlling bodies: It provides for the establishment of Central and State Boards for pollution control.
  • Functions: The Act assigns powers and functions to these Boards to control pollution.
  • Authority to board: The Central and State Pollution Control Boards are given comprehensive powers to advise, coordinate, and provide technical assistance for the prevention and control of water pollution.
  • Audit: The Act has provisions for funds, budgets, accounts, and audit of the Central and State Pollution Control Boards.
  • Prohibition: The Act prohibits disposal of any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to the flow of water in a stream. However, dumping of any material into a stream for the purpose of reclamation of land is not considered an offense.
  • Penalties: The Act provides for severe and deterrent punishments for violation of the Act which includes fine and imprisonment.
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977:

  • To empowers the Central Water Board to collect cess on water consumed by persons, industries, etc.
  • The cess and the consent fees from the major sources of revenue to run the Central and State Water Boards.
  • The Act has been amended in 1991 to provide rebate to the industries for complying with the consumption and effluent quality standard.

Technical Difficulties in Controlling Water Pollution:

  • The Water Cess Act was passed to meet the expenses of the Central and State Boards yet the Water Board has no power to take direct action against the erring party.
  • The procedures are time-consuming often prevent quick and preventive action thereby defeating the sole purpose of the Act.
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