“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” – Gandhi
The need for safety and protection of the environment and justifiable use of natural resources resonated within the constitutional structure of India and also within the international obligations of India. The Constitution under Part IVA (Art 51A-Fundamental Duties) and under Part IV (Art 48A-Directive Principles of State Policies) clearly stresses the importance of contributing to the environment.
Numerous environment protection statutes existed pre-Independence of India. However, truth plunge for a carefully curated structure came only after the UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, 1972). The National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning was established in 1972 with the aim of getting an administration to seem after the environment-related issues.
The Indian government had already established some laws associated with environment conservation, namely The Water Act, 1974 and therefore the Air Act, 1981. These acts though brought a revolutionary change within the country, for the larger part missed highly crucial aspects of the environment and didn’t provide strict guidelines and consequences.
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy which occurred within the year 1984 was an eye fixed opener for the govt to finally take action and introduce a strict law with regards to protection and conservation of the environment.
The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
The Environment (Protection) Act was established in 1986 with a view to possess a group of laws meant solely for the environment. The Act provides various guidelines for the citizens also because the government abides by. It also states the results and punishments if did not meet any of these guidelines.
The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 consists of IV Chapters.
Chapter I: Preliminary
1. Short title, extent and commencement
Chapter II: Reserved Forests
1. Power of Central Government to require measures to guard and improve Environment
2. Nomination of officers and their controls and utilities.
3. Power to offer directions.
4. Rules to manage environmental pollution.
Chapter III: Prevention, Control and Abatement of Environmental Pollution
1. Persons carrying on industry, operation, etc. to not allow emission or discharge of environmental pollutants in more than the standards.
2. Persons handling hazardous substances to suit procedural safeguard.
3. Furnishing of data to authorities and agencies in certain cases.
4. Power of entry and inspection.
5. Power to require sample and procedure to be followed in connection therewith.
6. Environmental Laboratories.
7. Government analysts.
8. Reports of state analysts.
9. Penalty for contravention of the provisions of the act and therefore the rules, orders and directions
10. Offences by companies.
11. Offences by Government Departments
Chapter IV: Miscellaneous
1. Protection of action taken in straightness.
2. Cognizance of offences.
3. Information, Reports or Returns.
4. Members, Officers and Employees of the authority constituted under section 3 to be public servants
5. Bar of Jurisdiction.
6. Power to delegate.
7. Effect of other laws.
8. Power to form rules.
9. Rules made under this act to be placed before parliament
Further, all the above conditions are explained during a detailed manner. The rules are laid down by the Act, but planning and execution of those rules is the responsibility of the government. Following the said rules, preventing its violation is that the responsibility of the citizens and individuals of the country