Air Prevention And Control of Pollution Act of 1981 | UPSC

Air Prevention And Control of Pollution Act of 1981 | UPSC – The Air Act was passed under Article 253 of the Constitution of India and in pursuance of decisions of Stockholm Conference.

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981, or the Air Act, was a law passed by the Parliament of India to prevent and control the harmful effects of air pollution in India. This act is seen as the first concrete step taken by the government of India to combat air pollution.

What is Air Pollution ?

Air pollution is defined as the presence of any liquid or gaseous substances in the atmosphere in such a concentration which tends to be injurious to man, animals, plants or environment.

The following are the definitions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.

  • Section 2(a) defines an ‘air pollutants’ as any solid liquid or gaseous substance which may cause harm or damage the environment, humans, plants, animals or even damage property. A 1987 amendment to the act also added ‘noise’ in the list of harmful substances.
  • The air act defines ‘air pollution’ as the presence of any dangerous pollutant that makes the air unbreathable
  • Section 2 (g) of the Act also set up the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) whose powers extended to the whole of India. To carry out the directives of the CPCB the act also called for the setting up of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) for the individual states of India

Air Prevention And Control of Pollution Act of 1981 | UPSC

Air Prevention And Control of Pollution Act of 1981 | UPSC

Name Of Act 
  • Air Prevention And Control of Pollution Act of 1981
Amemnded In Which Year 
  • Amendment In 1987
  • To provide means for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in order to preserve the quality of air.

Key features of the Air Act 

The key features of the Act include: Convention On Biological Diversity UPSC | Explained

  • Advising Central Government of Air and Air Pollution related issues
  • Research about the causes and impact of Air Pollution
  • Spread awareness to stop air pollution
  • To establish central and State Boards and empower them to monitor air quality and control pollution
Demarcate high pollution areas
  • The Act provides the declaration of certain heavily polluted areas as Air pollution control area and no industrial plant shall be operated in these areas without prior consent of the State Pollution Control Board.
Pollution boards duties
  • The Central and State Water Boards have been entrusted with the task of controlling and preventing air pollution.
  • The State Boards have to lay down and enforce standards for prevention and control of air pollution.
Noise as pollution
  • The Act also includes noise under the category of air pollutants in 1987.
Emission control
  • The State Government and the respective Board(s) may give instructions to the concerned Authority in-charge for Registrations under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, to ensure emission standards for automobiles.
  • Failure to comply with the conditions prescribed for this purpose is punishable with fine and imprisonment.
Penalty on polluter
  • The State Boards have powers to sue a polluter in a court of law to punish him for polluting the air and the expenses incurred by the Board will be recovered from the polluter.
  • The failure to comply with the Central Pollution Control Board directives would result in imprisonment of 1 year.
  • It can be extended to 6 years with a fine with the additional fine of 5000 Rs per day added provided the directives are still not met.

Questions Based On Air Act :

Q 1: The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was enacted in the year:

  1. 1981
  2. 1996
  3. 2000
  4. 1974
Q 2 : Noise pollution has been inserted as pollution in the Air Act in:

  1. 1981
  2. 1987
  3. 1982
  4. 2000


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