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AIR POLLUTION- A THREAT TO LIFE

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

By

Barathkumar K M, III year of B.B.A.,LL.B.(Hons.)


Introduction

India is a developing country with the highest population after China, for recent years many industries and automobile companies have been established in India. It will help India to develop economically at the same time it makes a path to pollute the air. Air pollution which leads to death is one of the biggest problems in this world and even it is not yet solved. Air pollution is the fourth-highest cause of death next to High systolic blood pressure, tobacco and dietary risks. The air pollution develops into two contexts: indoor (household) air pollution and outdoor air pollution.


Death rate

The air pollution leads to heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections, lung cancer, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The ‘State of Global Air 2020’[1] report says that in 2019, 6.7 million people have died due to air pollution with China (1.8 million) and India (1.6 million) and 5,00,000 infants have died which includes 1,16,000 infants in India. Especially law and middle-income countries are suffering from the highest exposures. The report also says that two-thirds of those deaths were linked to indoor air pollution.


Environment laws in India

According to Article 51-A of the Indian Constitution, it is the fundamental duty of every citizen in India to protect and improve the natural environment. Further, Article 48-A of the Indian Constitution states that the state shall endeavour to protect and safeguard the environment. To protect the environment the National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning was set up in 1972. In 1985, this council was evolved as the ‘Ministry of Environment and Forest’. Pollution control boards were also evolved; there are two types of pollution control boards- CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board and SPCB (State Pollution Control Board).

There are some important laws which were passed to protect the environment.


They are as follows:

1. The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

2. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

3. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

4. The Environment Protection Act, 1986

5. The Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, 1989


The National Green Tribunal Act

The National Green Tribunal Act was implemented to establish the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to protect the environment. The National Green Tribunal was enacted on October 18, 2010, to deal with the Environment Protection Act, the Forest Conservation Act and the Biodiversity Act.


The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act is the act to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution and the establishment of Boards at the Central and State. Under this act, the state government has the power to declare any area within their state as an air pollution control area after consultation with the SPCB.


The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act has been enacted to provide for the prevention and control of water. It further gives the power to the state for the establishment of boards.


The Environment Protection Act

The Environment Protection Act was implemented for the protection and improvement of the environment. This act provides the power to the Central Government to take necessary steps to protect and improve the quality of the environment, to regulate the location of industries and to manage the hazardous wastes, protection of public health and welfare. Under this act, the central government can issue notification for the protection of the environment. If any person violates the guidelines provided by the government was held liable and he will be punishable with imprisonment up to five years or with fine up to Rs. 1,00,000 or with both.


Hazardous Wastes Management Regulations

Hazardous wastes are wastes due to its chemical, reactive and corrosive characteristics it causes danger to the health or environment. There are some few laws which deal with hazardous wastes management regulations, the relevant legislations are the Factories Act, the Public Liability Insurance Act and the National Environment Tribunal Act.


1. The Factories Act- the main objective of this act is to provide occupational safety, health and welfare of workers at workplaces.

2. The Public Liability Insurance Act- the main objective of this act is to provide damages to victims of an accident.

These are some important laws that deal with the protection of the environment.


Conclusion

Environment plays a vital role in our society; a good environment will make a person as healthy. Every single person has to keep our environment as clean. Earth is not only for humans, but there also are many spices in the Earth and they depend upon the environment for food, water and other needs. So, keep our environment as safe as possible.


[1] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/air-pollution-contributed-to-6-7-million-annual-deaths-globally-in-2019-india-faced-1-67-million-deaths-due-to-dirty-air-says-state-of-global-air-report/articleshow/78782066.cms