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Central Pollution Control Board


The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is the national apex body for assessment, monitoring and control of water and air pollution.

The executive  responsibilities for enforcement of the Acts for Prevention and Control of Pollution of Water (1974) and Air (1981) and also of the Water (Cess) Act, 1977 are carried out through the Board.

The CPCB advises the Central Government in all matters concerning the prevention and control of air, water and noise pollution and provides technical services to the Ministry for implementing the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Under this Act, effluent and emission standards in respect of 61 categories of industries have been notified.

Seventeen categories of heavily polluting industries have been identified. They are: cement, thermal power plant, distilleries, sugar, fertilizer, integrated iron and steel, oil refineries, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, pesticides, tanneries, basic drugs and pharmaceuticals, dye and dye intermediates, caustic soda, zinc smelter, copper smelter and aluminium smelter.

Out of a total of 1,551 units identified under these 17 categories, 1,266 units have installed adequate facilities for pollution control and 130 units have been
closed down.

The Central Pollution Control Board, in consultation with State Pollution Control Boards, has identified critically polluted areas in the country which need special attention for control of pollution.

These are:
Vapi (Gujarat), Singrauli (Uttar Pradesh), Korba, Ratlam, Nagda (Madhya Pradesh), Digboi (Assam), Talcher (Orissa), Bhadravati (Karnataka), Howrah (West Bengal), Dhanbad (Bihar), Pali and Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Manali and North Arcot (Tamil Nadu), Visakhapatnam and Patancheru, (AndhraPradesh), Chembur (Maharashtra), Najafgarh (Delhi), Govindgarh (Punjab), Udyog Mandal (Kerala) and Parwanoo and Kala Amb (Himachal Pradesh).

The CPCB in collaboration with the SPCBs monitors the quality of fresh water resources of the country through a network of 480 monitoring stations located all over the country. Based on such monitoring, 13 heavily polluted and 26 medium-polluted river stretches have been identified.

Under the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring programme, 290 stations covering over 90 towns/cities monitor the ambient air quality of the country.

The Central and State Pollution Control Boards regularly conduct surveys in different cities of the country pertaining to vehicular and noise pollution, sanitation status, status of solid waste, etc.

A survey on the status of solid waste conducted in 299 Class I cities of the country indicates that 62 per cent of the total solid waste generated in the country comes from the 23 metro cities of the country. The average per capita generation of solid waste for Class I cities is about 376 gms per person per day.

A total of 1,532 grossly polluting industries in 24 States/Union Territories have been identified under the National River Action Plan. Comprehensive River Basin Documents for the rivers Ulhas, Brahmaputra, Pennar, Indus Part II, Rishkulya and Chaliyar are being prepared by the Board.

The Central Pollution Control Board has a NGO Cell for interacting with NGOs. Simple water-testing kits are distributed free of cost to selected NGOs and financial assistance provided to them for conducting mass awareness programmes relating to prevention and control of pollution.

The White Paper on status of pollution in Delhi with an Action Plan for its control prepared earlier is being implemented.

The Action Plan contains specific measures for control of pollution relating to vehicular pollution, water pollution, industrial air pollution, solid waste, hospital wastes, industrial hazardous wastes, noise pollution and people’s participation in making Delhi a cleaner city.

Directions have been issued by the National Capital Territory of Delhi for imposing restrictions on all commercial vehicles in Delhi in a time-bound programme beginning from April 1998. Based on the recommendations of a National Level Committee on Noise Pollution, directions have been issued to the State governments to check noise pollution from bursting of crackers.

Apart from introducing unleaded petrol in the National Capital Territory of Delhi from 1 September 1998 and the National Capital Region from 1 January 1999, there is a proposal to promote the use of CNG in buses, private vehicles and taxies.

There is also a proposal to introduce a certain percentage of ethanol/methanol in gasoline so as to reduce the emission of carbonmonoxide and hydrocarbons. It was also proposed to set up a high level body to look into issues concerning vehicle emissions.


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