Kacker & Daughter

India’s economic development propelled by rapid industrial growth and urbanization is causing severe environmental problems that have local, regional and global significance. Deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution and land degradation continue to worsen and are hindering economic development in rural India, while the rapid industrialization and urbanization in India’s booming metropolises are straining the limits of municipal services and causing serious environmental problems.

To address these environmental challenges in coordination with the state governments, the central government has identified and targeted 17 highly polluting industries and 24 environmental problem areas. The chemical and engineering industries are at the top of the government’s list, since they are the major contributors to air, water, and waste pollution. These industries include integrated iron and steel plants, non ferrous metallurgical units, pharmaceutical and petrochemical complexes, fertilizers and pesticide plants, thermal power plants, textiles, pulp and paper, tanneries and chloralkali units.


Regulatory framework for environment protection


India has an elaborate legal framework with over two hundred laws relating to environmental protection. Key national laws for the prevention and control of industrial and urban pollution include Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974, (amended in 1988), Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act of 1977, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981, and Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 (EPA).

The primary institutions responsible for the formulation and enforcement of environmental acts and rules include the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), State Departments of Environment, State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and Municipal Corporations


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