TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material Chapter 20 Environment Laws and Policies

Telangana TSBIE TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material 20th Lesson Environment Laws and Policies Textbook Questions and Answers.

TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material 20th Lesson Environment Laws and Policies

Essay Questions

Question 1.
Define Environmental law of India and explain Environmental laws and its Acts.
The environmental law in India has always been quite comprehensive; it includes not only the concept of sustainable development but also air and water pollution, preservation of our forests and wildlife, noise pollution and even the protection of our ancient monuments. Community resources such as tanks, ponds, etc., have now been articulated by the Supreme Court for inclusion in the concept of environment, considering that they affect the quality and enjoyment of our life.

Awareness about the environment and particularly matters relating to pollution has increased with education and public awareness. Modem environmental jurisprudence is a little over three decades old but has made remarkable strides in achieving the objectives of protecting the environment.

Most of the laws were codified by the British in the second half of the 19th century. Legislation which is oriented towards Environment protection includes – The Shore Nuisance Act, 1853, Indian Forests Act, 1865, Wild Birds and Animals Protection Act, 1912, Explosive Substance Act, 1908, the Poison Act, 1919. The objective of these laws was to protect the environment by preventing discharge of polluting substances or by limiting or banning their discharge. The objective was also to . prevent hunting, poaching and felling of trees.

The Stockholm Declaration at the UN Conference on Human Environment and Development held at Stockholm, 1972, had a significant impact on India Environment Law. It is considered the magna carta of Environmental law. 26 principles related to the environment and development were laid down in this conference.
TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material Chapter 19 What is Sustainable Development 6

After the Stockholm Conference, 1972, the Government of India brought the 42nd amendment in the Constitution and incorporated Article 48A and Article 51 A (g).

Constitutional Provisions for Environment Protection :
The ‘Right to Life’ contained in Article-21 of the Constitution of India includes the right to a clean and healthy environment. It means you have the right to live in a clean and healthy environment.

Article – 38 of our Constitution requires the State to ensure a social order for the welfare of people, which can be obtained only by an unpolluted and clean environment.

Article – 48 A comes under part IV of ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ of the Constitution. It declares The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and safeguard forests and wildlife of the country.’ It requires the State to adopt a Protectionist policy as well as an Improvinistic Policy. Protectionist policy imposes a ban on those things which lead to environmental degradation, e.g. ban on use of leaded petrol, ban on use of plastic bags. Improvinistic policy refers to alternatives that can be used for improvement of environment, e.g. use of CNG or low sulphur fuel, tree plantation in industrial areas.

TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material Chapter 20 Environment Laws and Policies

Article – 51A (g) of the Indian Constitution says :
‘It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.’ It is listed as a Fundamental Duty of citizens but is not enforceable as a law.

Acts for Environmental Protection :
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 :
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was enacted in 1974 to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution, and for maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water in the country. This is the first law passed (in India) whose objective is to ensure that domestic and industrial pollutants are not discharged into rivers and lakes without adequate treatment.

The reason is that such a discharge renders the water unsuitable as a source of drinking water as well as for the purposes of irrigation. The discharge adversely affects marine life. In order to achieve its objectives, the Pollution Control Boards at the Central and State levels were created to establish and enforce standards for factories discharging pollutants into water bodies.

What can individuals do to prevent water pollution?

  1. Bring to the notice of the authorities concerned issues relating to water pollution. E.g : inform the Pollution Control Board of any offender who is polluting the water and ensure that appropriate action is taken. One can also write to the press.
  2. Do not dump wastes into a household or industrial drain which can directly enter any water body, such as a stream, river, pond, lake or the sea.
  3. Do not use toilets for flushing down waste items as they do not disappear but reappear at other places and cause water pollution.
  4. Use compost instead of chemical fertilizers in gardens.
  5. Avoid use of pesticides at home like DDT, melathion and aldrin. Use alternative methods like paste of boric acid mixed with gram flour to kill cockroaches and other insects. Use dried neem leaves to help keep away insects.

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 :
Was enacted to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in India. It is a specialised piece of legislation which was enacted to take appropriate steps for the preservation of natural resources of the earth, which among other things include the preservation of the quality of air and control of air pollution. The prime objectives of the Act are the following : Prevention, control and abatement of air pollution; establishment of central and state pollution control boards to implement the aforesaid purpose; and to maintain the quality of air.

What can an individual do to control air pollution?

  1. Bring to notice of the authorities concerned issues relating to air pollution E.g. : Vehicular pollution to the RTO, open biomass burning to local bodies, industrial emissions to the Pollution Control Board.
  2. Use cars only when absolutely necessary or share space (car pooling). Walk or cycle as much as possible instead of using fossil fuel powered vehicles.
  3. Use public transport as far as possible, as more people can travel in a single large vehicle rather than using multiple
    small vehicles which add to pollution.
  4. Do not use air fresheners and other aerosols and sprays which contain CFCs that deplete the ozone layer.
  5. Do not smoke in a public place. It is illegal and endangers not only your own health but also that of others.
  6. Grow more trees and report to the authorities on cutting down of trees.

The Environment Protection Act, 1986 :
It was the Bhopal Gas Tragedy which spurred the Government of India to enact comprehensive environmental legislation, including rules relating to storing, handling and use of hazardous waste. On the basis of these rules, the Indian Parliament enacted the Environment Protection Act, 1986. This is an umbrella legislation that consolidates the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act’of 1974 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981. The objective of the Environment Protection Act is to protect and improve the environment in the country.

TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material Chapter 20 Environment Laws and Policies

The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 :
There was no direct provision for ‘noise pollution’ under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 or any other legislation. The increasing ambient noise levels in public places from various sources like industrial activity, generator sets, loud speakers and vehicular horns have harmful effects 6n human health. It was the need of the hour to come out with a law which would regulate and control noise producing sounds with the objective of maintaining the ambient air quality standards in respect of noise.

Therefore, the Central Government framed The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000′. These rules have been laid down by the government to reduce environmental noise pollution. Certain standards, such as the ambient air quality standards, have been set by the government. The permissible levels of noise are differeht for different areas, such as industrial, commercial, residential areas and silence zones (areas within the vicinity of hospitals, educational institutions or courts).

The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1981 :
This Act aims to provide immediate relief to the persons affected by an accident occurring while handling any hazardous substance. It provides that every owner shall take out, before he starts handling any hazardous substance, one or more insurance policies providing for contracts of insurance. The objective of taking insurance is that the compensation resulting from the possible future accident is guaranteed.

The collector of the area has been empowered’to verify the occurrence of any accident at any place within his jurisdiction and also cause publicity to be given for inviting applications from the victims for any compensation. Apart from the insurance contract, the funding for the purpose of compensation is also generated by the Central Government by the establishment of “Environment Relief Fund”. This fund may be utilized by the collector for paying the compensation.

The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 :
This Act is aimed to provide for strict liability for damages arising out of any accident occurring while handling any hazardous substance and for the establishment of a National Environment Tribunal for effective and expeditious disposal of cases arising from such accident, with a view to giving relief and compensation for damages to persons, property and the environment and for matters connected with it.

The beauty of this Act lies in the fact that the liability of the owner of hazardous substance has been made strict in case of any accident and the resultant injury to public. In any claim for the compensation, the claimant is not required to plead and establish that the death, injury or damage in respect of which the claim has been made was due to any wrongful act, neglect or default of any person. So, the burden of proof does not rest upon the claimant of compensation which is a big relief for the victims.

TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material Chapter 20 Environment Laws and Policies

Question 2.
Write an essay on Pollution Control Boards.
Pollution Control Boards :
Pollution Control Boards are statutory bodies constituted with an objective to protect and promote the atmosphere and to control pollution.

The Central Pollution Control Board :
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), a statutory organisation, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 to deal with the rise in pollution. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Functions of the CPCB :

  1. Promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the states by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution.
  2. Improving the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.
  3. Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air.
  4. Plan and cause to be executed at nation wide programme for the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution.
  5. Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigation and research relating to problems of water and air pollution and for their prevention, control or abatement.
  6. Prepare manuals, codes and guidelines relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents as well as for stack gas cleaning devices, stacks and ducts.
  7. Lay down or modify (in consultation of the State Governments), the standards for streams or wells and lay down standards for the quality of air.

The State Pollution Control Boards :
The State Governments also have their Pollution Control Boards for example, TSPCB (Telangana State Pollution Control Board).

Functions of State Boards :

  1. To advise the State Government on matters relating to pollution and on ‘sitting’ of industries; to plan programmes for pollution control;.
  2. To collect and disseminate information;
  3. To carry out inspection of polluting industries and areas;
  4. To lay down effluent and emission standards; and
  5. To issue consent to industries and other activities for compliance of prescribed emission and effluent standards.

TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material Chapter 20 Environment Laws and Policies

The Government has made several other rules in the area of the Solid Waste Management which include the Hazardous Waste Management Rules to manage the Hazardous Waste generated from the process; The Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules for safe disposed of the hospital waste; The E-Waste Rules 2016 for the safe disposal of Electrical and Electronic Waste and the Municipal Solid Waste management Rules for disposal of domestic waste. The Construction and Demolition Waste Rules pertain to the managing and recycling of C & D waste generated from construction works.

National Green Tribunal :
A Tribunal is established for the adjudication of disputes related to some specific areas, whereas courts exist for the adjudication of all kinds of disputes regardless of any specific area. Every court is a tribunal but tribunals are not courts. Rules of natural justice ensure fairness in any adjudicatory process. Final judgement of a tribunal is generally called ‘award’.

The National Green Tribunal was established on 18th October, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. It includes enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property. It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multidisciplinary issues.

The National Green Tribunal makes efforts for disposal of applications or appeals within six months of filing of the same. New Delhi is the principal place of sitting of the Tribunal Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai are the other four places of sitting of the Tribunal.

Issues Involved in Enforcement of Environmental Legislation :
The objective of any Rule or Law is not to impose restrictions on the individual but to ensure the safety of the individual. No rule can be effective unless individuals act in consciousness of the fact that Rules are guidelines for safe living and are made by ourselves for a better society.

Environmental legislation has envolved to protect our environment as a whole, our health, and the earth’s resources. The presence of legislation to protect the air, water, soil, etc., does not necessarily mean that the problem is addressed. Once legislation is introduced at the global, national or state level, it can be implemented only with the support of individuals. The role of the agencies is mainly to increase awareness about rules.

Role of Citizens and Action Groups :
Citizens must leam to act as watch dogs to protect their environment from the consequences of various types of pollution. Well-informed citizens have not only rights but also duties in this regard. They can join action groups to develop a lobby to strengthen environmental movements in the country, state, town or village. Individuals can take one or several possible actions when they observe offenders who, in their self-interest, damage the environment. An individual has the right to bring an environmental offence or nuisance to the attention of concerned authorities.

The help of NGOs can be sought in this regard. It is possible to move courts by a Public Interest Litigation, and approach even the apex court – the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court of India in the recent past has given several highly enlightened pro-conservation judgments. Citizens can also elicit public support through the press and electronic media.

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