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RS Passes Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2024

Context:

Recently the Upper House has passed the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2024.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key provisions of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2024
  2. About the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
  3. Central Pollution Control Board
  4. State Pollution Control Board

Key provisions of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2024:

  • The bill seeks to amend the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
  • It will initially apply to Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and the Union Territories.
  • Regulatory Bodies:
    • The Act establishes the central and state pollution control boards to prevent and control water pollution.
    • State Pollution Control Board:
      • As per the act, the chairman of a State Pollution Control Board is nominated by the state government.
      • According to the provision of the bill, the central government will prescribe the manner of nomination and the terms and conditions of service of the chairman.
      • The bill will streamline the appointment of key officials of the State Pollution Control Board.
      • It will provide certain mandatory qualifications, experience and procedure to ensure fair and transparent appointment of chairperson of the State Pollution Control Board.
  • Penalties:
    • The Bill decriminalizes several violations and imposes penalties.
    • The Bill imposes a penalty between ten thousand rupees to 15 lakh rupees for violation of provisions related to discharge of polluting matter in water bodies.

About the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974:

  • It was enacted in 1974 to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution, and for the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water in the country.
  • The Act was amended in 1978 and 1988 to clarify certain ambiguities and to vest more powers in Pollution Control Board.
  • The Act was last amended in 2003.
  • Purpose of the Act:
    • Prevention and control of water pollution
    • Maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water
    • Establishment of Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution
    • Conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions for matters connected therewith.

Central Pollution Control Board:

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India is a Statutory Organisation under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
  • It was established in 1970s under the Water (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act.
  • CPCB is the apex organisation in country in the field of pollution control.
  • It is also entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  • It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • It Co-ordinates the activities of the State Pollution Control Boards by providing technical assistance and guidance and also resolves disputes among them.

State Pollution Control Board:

  • It was established under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and constituted by the concerned State Government by notification in the Official Gazette.
  • They supplement the CPCB as they are a statutory organization entrusted to implement Environmental Laws and rules within the jurisdiction of a state.
  • A State Board shall consist of the following members, namely:
  • A Chairman:
    • He/she is nominated by the State Government.
    • He/she is either whole-time or part-time member as the State Government may think fit
  • Officials:
    • To be nominated by the State Government to represent that Government.
  • Non-Officials:
    • To be nominated by the State Government from amongst the members of the local authorities functioning within the State
  • Terms and conditions of service of members:
    • A member of a Board shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of his nomination.
    • A member continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office
    • A member of a Board may at any time resign his office by submitting his/her resignation to the state government.

-Source: The Hind, All India Radio


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