Critical Review of Legislature Of Environmental Health in India

The article describes what are the important environmental laws in india and how they are not been practised due to lack of public intrest.

Critical Review of Legislature Of  Environmental Health in India

Submitted By Dr Nihar Ranjan ray

                                                                                                                          Dr Rajnikant Patel                                                                          


PREAMBLE: There are number of laws to prevent the environmental pollution in India. But they are hardly focused or practiced in maintaining and protecting the environment. It is very important to revisit those legislature files when the world is most worried for the global warming, particulate suspensions in the air and loss of flora and fauna on the earth. Though the law is made by the law makers and maintained by the judiciary institutions but it is the common people who really need to be sensitized and aware of the law for its effective implementation of the law. The important environmental laws were discussed here under in nutshell.


Water Act (Prevention and Control of Pollution) , 1974; Air Act (Prevention and Control of Pollution) , 1981, Cess Act, 1977, Environment Act (Protection) , 1986  Rules there under  Public Liability  Insurance Act,  1981,  National Environmental Tribunal Act- 1995, National Environment Appellate Authority Act 1997 Laws enforced by of the Pollution Control Boards

Hazardous Waste Rules (Management & Handling) 1989. Manufacture, storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989  Bio-medical Waste Rules (Management & Handling), 1998

Municipal Solid Waste Rules (Management & Handling), 2000. Plastics wastes Rules, 1999

Coastal Regulation Zone Rules, 1991 Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991


It is estimated that 75% to 80% of water pollution by volume is caused by domestic sewage.

The major industries causing water pollution include: distilleries, sugar, textile, electroplating, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, pulp & paper mills, tanneries, dyes and dye intermediates, petro-chemicals, steel plants etc. Non-point sources such as fertilizer and pesticide run-offs in rural areas also cause pollution. Only 60% of chemical fertilizers are utilized in soils and the balance is leached into soil polluting the ground water. Sources of water pollution and wastewater generation scenario



The river Ganga occupies a unique position in the cultural ethos of India. But gradually in recent years this holy river gets polluted. Why The Ganges is the focus of …

The densely populated Gang basin is inhabited by 37 per cent of India’s population.

  • The entire Gang basin system effectively drains eight states of India.
  • About 47 per cent of the total irrigated area in India is located in the Gang basin alone.
  • It has been a major source of navigation and communication since ancient times.
  • The Indo-Gangetic plain has witnessed the blossoming of India’s great creative talent.


The principal sources of pollution of the Ganga River can be characterized as follows:

  • Domestic and industrial wastes. It has been estimated that about 1.4 × 106 m3 d-1 of

Domestic wastewater and 0.26 × 106 m3 d-1 of industrial sewage are going into the river.

  • Solid garbage thrown directly into the river.
  • Non-point sources of pollution from agricultural run-off containing residues of harmful

Pesticides and fertilizers.

  • Animal carcasses and half-burned and unburned human corpses thrown into the river.
  • Defecation on the banks by the low-income people.
  • Mass bathing and ritualistic practices.

The Ganga Action Plan was the tool for the survival of the G ly. It was a learning experience to conduct this type of work to save the river spreading across the states and cities of importance.


Lessons Learned:

  1. Attainable by “political will”.
  2. developing a suitable indigenous technology
  3. “cleanliness drive”


 Workers’ Rights and Pollution Control in Delhi

Human Rights Dialogue: “Environmental Rights” (Spring 2004)   Kelly D. Alley, Daniel Meadows April 23, 2004


Within India’s judicial interpretation of constitutional rights there exists a close link between environmental values and human rights. Yet in some instances court cases defending the right to a clean environment have actually jeopardized the job security of India’s poorest laborers and have led to abuses of human rights. One such example is the 1995 Supreme Court case MC Meheta Vs GoI, which ordered the closure and relocation of polluting industries in Delhi. In the 1995 case cited above, environmental lawyer M. C. Mehta argued that Delhi industries and government agencies were not abiding by the city’s zoning regulations spelled out in the Delhi Master Plan. Specifically, the justices ordered the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to identify all hazardous and non-conforming industries operating in the city. With little supporting data, the control boards drew up a series of lists, ultimately identifying 168 hazardous units targeted for closure. The court had also directed that all relocating industries retain their workers at the new location, pay them their full wages, and pay one year’s wages as a “shifting bonus.” There are a few cases like these which describes that if the common people out speak for the justice than the court gets a plea for acting.



  • Few direct climate change laws
  • Need for reconciliation with economic growth promotion priorities
  • Fragmentation and outdated laws
  • Response to conflicting institutional arrangements
  • Unclear assignment of responsibilities
  • Inadequate sanctions in command-and-control legislation – insufficient incentives
  • Missing supporting regulations and standards
  • CO2 not regulated as a pollutant
  • Excessive reliance on command-and-control legislation