The rampant Air pollution all over India is caused due to various causes and these pollutants are from a variety of sources these variety of sources vary from being a primary source or secondary source and these could be a result of rampant human activities or the rapid industrialisation prevalent in the environment. The nuisance of air pollution has proved very detrimental to the faith of Human survival thus making it compulsory for us to check and keep control of growing pollution Through this research we will understand the meaning of Air pollution as well the history of air pollution legislation in India then we will try to understand the implications of the Air Act and suggestions for more smooth execution of the purpose of law.
Air pollution, Impact, The air act, Conservation, Preservation
Air is one of the most important natural resources which is very important for the survival and existence of human beings on the earth thus clean and good quality air is the bare minimum requirement thus preservation and checking of Air pollution is very essential Through ancient times in India Air pollution control has been a very important aspect of the administration we witnessed a variety of laws in that respect we also saw a variety of new changes and there implications on the current air pollution situation in India.
In order to gain a full-fledged understanding of the implications of the new Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 2021 on air pollution in India. Deep research on the historical and present situation of air pollution and its prevention in India. and also for a better understanding of the concepts the technical terms are well researched and defined thus this research will provide you with all-round knowledge of the concepts of Air pollution. Also, every change and its impact is discussed in great detail. Thus this is a complete doorway to understanding the Air Act.
Review of literature
‘I see a future where getting to work or to school or to the store does not have to cause pollution.’
– Bernie Sanders
In this quote used by Bernie Sanders, there is hope that points toward the future and a better future and it motivates us and strives us towards the best.
Sooner or later, we will have to recognise that the Earth has the right, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.
– Evo Morales
In this quote, Evo Morales points out the requirement for recognition of the rights of Earth beings.
Meaning of Air Pollution
Air is one of the most essential elements required for human existence. Thus the air which is available to us must be clean and safe for our usage’ but the current situation of Air all around the world is quite contrary to that. Air is nothing but an invisible gaseous substance that surrounds the Earth’s atmosphere. It is composed of various gases such as nitrogen, carbon, dioxide, oxygen and many such gases.
Pollution is the presence of unnecessary unwanted substances in the air which results in changing the physical chemical and biological composition of the Air. The substances because of which the composition of Air changes are called pollutants the pollutants can be in various forms such as air, liquid or gas.
There are different types of air pollutants such as Primary-These sources are directly emitted into the environment from their sources
Secondary-These pollutants are formed due to reactions between primary pollutants and the environment.
There are a few common air pollutants such as Carbon monoxide, Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Particulate Matter, Ground-Level Ozone, Smog
Air pollution – “Air pollution is contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere”.
Outdoor Air Pollution
Outdoor air pollution is a recent major environmental problem affecting nations all over the world. According to the estimates from WHO, Outdoor air pollution has caused approximately 4.2 million premature deaths all over the world in the year 2019. Air pollution is one of the major causes of environment-related health issues.
Having safe and good air quality is a minimum requirement for human subsistence. thus WHO has started Air quality guidelines for marking a threshold required air quality These guidelines also provide measures through which one can measure such air quality requirements and balance it through effective planning. It provides air quality levels and interim targets
History of pollution in India
India has seen a very vast and colourful history almost from the beginning of time India is one of the oldest still functional civilizations in the world but this Indian history has seen a lot of changes in terms of pollution control.
- In ancient times streets of harrapan valley civilisations were made in such a way that they were placed at an angle of 90 degrees and the wind itself swept the dust away also the drainage system in Harrapa was made in such a way that it collected all the extra and unwanted waste and dumped it into the pit Also with the help of effective drainage, water-based elaborate structures such as the Great Bath presence of more than 700 wells it may be comprehended that water pollution was kept in check in our very own and ancient Harrapan civilisation.
- Even at the time of the Mauryan Empire in 300 bc in the reign of the great king Chandragupta Maurya, the importance of environmental protection was understood there were many river protection projects built. The very famous prime minister of This reign Chanakya also known as Kautilya in his book Arthshastra revealed the importance of environmental protection .
- During the British rule also India witnessed several rules on the environment such as the Shore Nuisance (Bombay and Kolaba) Act of 1853, also Oriental Gas Company Act of 1857 and in criminal law legislations such as Ipc fines were imposed on Individuals who with intent contaminated the water bodies. The British government also enacted specific laws for air pollution such as the Bengal Smoke Nuisance Act of 1905, and the Bombay Smoke Nuisance Act of 1912.
Different Air Pollution Legislations in India
- The Factories Act-This act was enacted in the year 1948 right after the Independence of India it was later amended in the year 1987 this legislation was passed to improve the social economic and living conditions of the workers working in the industrial sector during that time. This was also the first act that focused on the working environment of the workers. It necessitated a safe working environment for the workers and it also laid a huge responsibility on the factory owners regarding the health and safety of their factory workers. Earlier these factory workers were also subject to harmful Air pollutants which were often detrimental to their health. Also after the 1987 amendment, The environment-related focus was expanded by this Act.
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act – This act was passed as a need was felt to keep a check on the growing Air pollution situation in India during that time this act was recently amended in 2021.
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules-These rules were enacted in the year 1982 these were enacted with the purpose to lay down the procedures for the functioning of The central pollution control board this act lays the guidelines for the proper functioning of the board. This act also lays down the power entrusted to the Board.
- The Atomic Energy Act– The Atomic Energy Act was enacted in the year 1962 this act was passed to utilise two naturally occurring nuclear substances that is Uranium and Thorium Nuclear energy was seen as the new fuel of the future since it provides a large intensity of energy and also is a greener alternative. But the harmful effects of the same nuclear energy can not be ignored since it is a highly radioactive substance which is very dangerous in cases when it comes in contact. Thus, this act also lays down guidelines for proper and safe disposal of Nuclear waste. Which will be caused in the Process.
- The Motor Vehicles Act-The Motor Vehicles Act was enacted in the year 1988 This act was enacted to keep up with the recent development in the field of motor vehicles since older all the legislations were outdated this act also ensured that speedy justice is delivered to the persons injured by the motor vehicle accidents. This act establishes a Motor vehicle act claims tribunal where claims can be made and compensation is granted concerning motor vehicle accidents. These act also lays down provisions for proper packing, labelling as well as transportation of Hazardous waste. Which also helps in reducing Air pollution.
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, also known as the Air Act was enacted by the parliament in the year 1981 this law was passed by India to prevent and to keep a check on the harmful effects of Air pollution on India with the growth of technology Industrialisation and modernisation it was inevitable that the amount of pollution will increase in the environment. and with the increase in pollution a full-fledged legislation was needed to combat the increasing air pollution in the environment. It was the first concrete step taken by the government to deal with the growing nuisance of Air pollution.
Need for the Act
This act was passed in the year 1981 since with the growth of industries and with the increase of machines the increase in the rate of pollution was quite obvious in the 1970s and to reduce or to check the increase in pollution it was suggested that nations should pass its very own legislations to reduce the nuisance of air pollution. Thus during the Stockholm conference of the United nation general assembly on the human environment, legislation was passed with the consent of all the nations and it was decided that all the nations will now act for protecting the environment also a resolution was passed to promote the conservation of Natural resources such as Air. India in its internal affair was facing many air pollution problems such as the issue of stubble burning environment deterioration, and unchecked industrial practices. Thus to reduce these problems This specific problem was passed by the Indian legislature.
The objective of the Act
This act was passed with the prime objective to conserve Air as a natural resource and to reduce the problem of Air pollution. this act promotes the conservation of Air prevention and control of pollution. It also sets centre and state pollution control boards for the proper fulfilment of the objective. Thus the primary objectives of the act
- Conserving energy-one of the primary objective of this act to promote the conservation of energy as a resource it promotes the use of renewable sources of energy. Also, this act also try to reduce the usage of fossil fuels which will also in turn reduce the pollution caused by these fuels it will also lead to a reduction of harmful gases and pollutant emitted by the usage of these fuels thus reducing air pollution.
- To constitute the Central Pollution Control Board -This act constitutes a central pollution control board which is headed by the chairman who will be a person having complete knowledge in the specified field and will be appointed by the central government for heading the board. also, the pollution control board will have a secretary who will be well equipped with scientific and technical knowledge and the board will also be constituted by 5 members representing the government of India.
- To constitute the State Pollution Control Board-This act constitutes a state pollution control board which is headed by the chairman who will be a person having complete knowledge in the specified field and will be appointed by the respective state government for heading the board. also, the pollution control board will have a secretary who will be well equipped with scientific and technical knowledge and the board will also be constituted by 5 members representing the respective state government.
- To confer power and functions to both the boards-This act lays down the power and functions of both the acts respectively the power and functions conferred to
National Board-To advise the central government regarding matters of natural resource preservation and air pollution., To plan and execute a national-level plan to reduce pollution and conserve natural resources.
State Board-To give advice to the respective government regarding matters of natural resource preservation and air pollution., To plan and execute a regional-level plan to reduce pollution and conserve natural resources.
Proposed Amendments and its implications
Several amendments are proposed seeing the current environment scenario of India amendments such as a reduction of the criminal charges relating to minor offences or decriminalising certain sections of the act also imposing more penalties after the commitment of certain offences, This amendment also suggests the creation of a fund for remuneration of the fines thus collected by the penalties. And, the financial penalties thus collected in the form of fines could be utilised in repairing the existing damaged reparation or for giving aid to the injured parties, This act will also exempt certain green industries and non-polluting industries to obtain environment clearance under section 21 of the act, Also this act also proposes to authorise the central government to prescribe certain guidelines concerning the grant approved, refusal given or consent provided by any State board to establish any industry in the Air control marked area.
- Amendment of section 2-in the following section amendment is proposed that hereafter the meaning of the word fund would also include the remediation fund which would be created with the insertion of section 35 A in the new Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 2021.
- Amendment of section 21-In the following amendment it is proposed that the central government can issue a notification regarding the exemption of a few factories this amendment will empower the central government to reduce the burden of certain green industries and non-polluting industries. this amendment will also empower the centre government by notification to exempt certain industrial plants to function even if the recovered consent or approval of the state government.
- Insertion of a new section 35 A- This amendment would propose the creation of a remediation fund which would be created from the financial penalties thus collected. This amend amendment would promote more repair of the harm made and also would give justice to the victims thus this promotes a solution-based approach and proper utilisation of the fines and penalties thus collected from the offenders.
- Insertion of a new section 36 A-This amendment would propose the creation of an Air pollution remediation fund where an adjudicating officer will impose a penalty on the offender and also impose an additional penalty on or the case may be under sections 37,38,39,40 and all the penalty paid will be received in the Air pollution remediation fund and the central government will prescribe the manner and procedure for functioning of the Air pollution remediation fund.
- Insertion of a new section 36 B-This section lays down the provision for account and audit of the fund. It explicitly mentions the required procedures which need to be followed by the government the government needs to separate the audit and accounts of the fund and it also needs to maintain a proper account of all the financial fines and remuneration thus given. It needs to maintain a complete balance sheet out of the thus proposed Air pollution remediation fund. This would promote a more accountable environment.
- Insertion of a new section 39 B- this section lays down the provisions for an additional penalty in case there is a failure to pay for the penalty this section ensures that there is proper execution of the said penalties and also provides a remedy in case it is not followed also it makes non-payment or delay payment of the penalties a punishable offence it will promote more efficient imposition of the provisions of this section and thus, promoting more efficient administration. It will create a sense of responsibility among the offenders regarding the payment of financial penalties.
- Amendment of section 40-In the following section amendment it is proposed that earlier a penalty for non-compliance with any section of this act was 5 lakh rupees to 5 crores rupees but the amendment in this section proposes that if the magnitude or amount of damage so caused by the non-compliance shall be paid. This means that if the damage incurred amounts to more than 5 crores then the five crores rupees need to be paid by the non-compiling offender. This amendment will ensure effective and fair penalties to all where they have to pay for the penalty in respect to the damage done by them.
- Amendment of section 41-In the following section amendment it is proposed that if the non-compliance or contravention to the provisions of the act is caused by a central or state government office or the head employee of any of these organizations he should pay a fine of 2 lakhs rupees for each offence. Amendments like these promote a sense of accountability and reasonability among the employees of the government and a sense of equality between the general public and the government.
As we are aware Air pollution is a big problem and we need to sort it out for a better future. Hence, I would suggest a few suggestions for more smooth functioning and preservation of Air pollution in India, the Promotion and sanction of more green vehicles in India, the Promotion of non-polluting alternatives, More emphasis on greener fuels, and More Emphasis on the conservation of natural resources. and for better implication of the law, it should be made more inclusive and also focus on problems at grassroots levels. The legislation should include the discrepancies of the Primary sector too. It should focus more on the problems of subtle burning.
the new Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 2021 strives to work for combating the new age problems of air pollution. Since air is one of the most important and essential elements required for human existence. Thus the air which is available to us must be clean and safe for our usage. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, also known as the Air Act was enacted by the parliament in the year 1981 this law was passed by India to prevent and keep a check on the harmful effects of Air pollution on India with the growth of technology Industrialisation and modernisation. And thus new Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 2021 will help us to reduce the novel air pollution problems which have arisen from the new age of technology. The new act would include the imposition
- Additional penalty
- Air pollution remediation fund
- Exception of a few non-polluting and green industries from the permit.
Army institute of law
 ‘Air Pollution (World Health Organization) <https://www.who.int/health-topics/air-pollution> accessed 12 July 2023
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 Allchin FR, ‘Indus Civilization’ (Encyclopædia Britannica, 26 June 2023) <https://www.britannica.com/topic/Indus-civilization> accessed 12 July 2023
 Basu A, ‘Mauryan Empire’ (World History Encyclopedia, 19 October 2022) <https://www.worldhistory.org/Mauryan_Empire/> accessed 12 July 2023
 Prasoon S, Kauṭalya and Kauṭalya, Chanakya Niti ; Kautilya Arthshastra: Methods of Management and the Art of Governance (V & S Publishers 2014)
 ‘History’ (pollution in india) <https://pollutedindia.weebly.com/history.html> accessed 12 July 2023
 Factories Act, 1948
 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rule, 1982
 The Atomic Energy Act, 1962
 The Motor Vehicles Act,1988
 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
 §3 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
 §5(2) The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
 §16The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
 §17 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
 §21 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
 §2 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
§21 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
 §21 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
 §40 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
 §41 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981