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Environment Legislation


Major legislations directly dealing with the protection of environment are:
  • The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. 
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
  • The Water (Cess) Act,1977. the National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1977.
  • the Air(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, 
  • the Environment (Protection)Act, 1986, 
  • the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 and the National
  • Environment Tribunal Act, 1995.

The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 provides for rational and modern wildlife management while the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 has been enacted to check indiscriminate deforestation/diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes.

The Water and Air Acts are the major instruments for the control of water and air pollution and these have provided for the establishment of the Central and State Pollution Control Boards.

The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 is a landmark legislation which provides for a single focus in the country for the protection of environment and aims at plugging the loopholes in the existing legislation.

The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991, provides for mandatory insurance for the purpose of providing immediate relief to the persons affected by accidents occurring while handling any hazardous substances.

The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995, seeks to constitute a Tribunal with Benches to award compensation for damage to persons, property and the environment arising out of any activity involving hazardous substances.

The National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1977 provides for the establishment of a National Environment Appellate Authority to hear appeals against environmental clearance given by the Ministry.

All these Acts are amended from time to time to rationalise and expand their scope, coverage and penal provisions.


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