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

The Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act was enacted by the Parliament in 1981 with an objective to prevent, control & abatement of air pollution.  Under Section 19 of this act the whole of National Capital Territory of Delhi has been declared as air pollution control area by the Central Government.  Under this section the government approved fuels to be used in the air pollution control area.

The following are the important provisions of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act:

Under Section 21(1) :

Person establish or operate any industrial unit in National Capital Territory of Delhi without obtaining prior consent of the DPCC.

The consent application will be disposed off within 4 months of receipt of the consent application. However, DPCC may either grant consent or reject the application within 4 months for reasons to be recorded in writing. It may also revoke previous, consent to the industry before expiry of the same after giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

Any consent requires the compliance with the following conditions:-

i)

Control equipment of such specification as the State Board may approve.

ii)

Control equipment referred above shall be kept at all times in good running condition.

iii)

Chimney, wherever necessary, of such specifications as state boards may approve.

iv)

Any other such conditions as the state board may specify.

Under Section 22 :

No person operating any industrial plant, in any air pollution control area shall discharge or cause or permit to be discharged the emission of any air pollution in excess of the standards laid down by the state board.

Under Section 22(A) :

State Board can also approach the court to stop any person from doing air pollution.

Under Section 24(i), 26(i) :

DPCC office have powers to inspect any premises in performance of their duties, take samples, examine records, documents etc. or performing any other duty entrusted to him by the board. Every person operating any equipment is bound to provide all assistance to the person who is inspecting. when samples taken, officials can collect the samples after informing the person of the industry. Any analysis of the samples done in the air lab can be produced as evidence in a court.

Under Section 31 :

Any person aggrieved by an order made by the state board under this act may, within 30 days from the date on which order is communication to him, prefer an appeal to the authorised authority who in the case of Delhi is the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forest.

Under Section 31(A) :

The state board can give directions to any person or office or authority in writing and such person or officer or authority is bound to comply with such directions which includes:

i)

The closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, operation or process or

ii)

Stoppage or regulation of electricity, water or any other services.

Under Section 37 :

Any person failing to comply with the provisions of Section 21 or Section 22 or directions issued under Section 31(A) can be imprisoned from 1-1/2 years to 6 years, with fine or with a fine upto Rs.5000/- per day.

If violation continues beyond one year imprisonment can be increased upto 7 years with fine.

Under Section 39 :

Whoever contravenes any of the provisions of this Act or any order or directions issued thereunder, for which no penalty has been elsewhere provided in this act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both, and in case of continuing contravention with an additional fine which may extend to Rs.5000/- for every day during which such contravention continues after conviction for the first such contravention.