Environment is a polycentric and multi-facet problem affecting human existence, the Supreme Court observed a long time ago. Its pollution causes bodily disabilities, leading to the non-functioning of the vital organs of the body, experts say.
Air pollution is one of the factors for respiratory ailments and associated diseases even though there is no conclusive data available in the country to establish direct correlation between health and air pollution, the government informed the parliament which is in its monsoon session.
Noise and pollution are two of the greatest offenders, the latter affects air, water, natural growth and health of the people. Environmental pollution affects, thereby, the health of the general public. A reference to the Stockhoim Declaration of United Nations on Human Environment, 1972, is apt here: “Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life. In an environment of equality that permits a life of dignity and well-being and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations.”
It is imperative to understand that it affirms both aspects of environment, the natural and the man-made. The protection is essential to well-being and to the enjoyment of basic human rights–the right to life itself.
Over the years, the government says various steps towards prevention and control of pollution caused by various industries were taken by it. The steps towards control of industrial pollution inter alia include the adherence by SPCBs and PCCs in States and Union Territories respectively to ensure the compliance of various standards. So far, industry specific environmental standards, for about 80 industrial sectors, have been notified.
The SPCBs/PCCs issue consent to establish/ consent to operate and authorization to the industries in the States verifying the permission granted by concerned authority for land conversion for setting up of industry. Also, the SPCBs/PCCs monitor the compliance of industrial emissions/effluent discharges and other operational activities according to the prescribed standards.
CPCB carries out inspection-cum-Monitoring of 17 categories of highly polluting industries on random basis, selected on the basis of the real time data received through OCEMS installed in industries. In case of non-compliance, action against industry ought to be taken under provisions of Water Act, 1974, Air Act, 1981 and Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Various other measures are there on paper and all concerned need to take appropriate steps as warranted under law to ensure that pollution levels are kept under check for human existence.