Life on earth is impossible without air. Air and water are two inevitable essential factors that promote life on earth. Human beings and other living beings cannot pass a second on their life without taking a breath. The importance of air is so deep and vast in the life of all living things including human beings. This inevitable factor should be protected with proper care as a reserve for future generations. Unfortunately this essential factor is subject to all kind of pollutions. The air is being polluted in all means by the activity of human beings. The industrialization laid the foundation for air pollution. Man’s desire to amass wealth resulted in the exploitation of nature. Air is the most polluted element as a result of his exploitation. By the establishment of factories that resulted in industrialization made the air pollution to an uncontrollable extent. In addition to this the increase in the number of vehicles, deforestation etc increased the impact of air pollution.
In order to protect the air from pollution an act in the year 1981 was enacted as Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act 1981. The main object of the act is to take preventive steps to control the pollution level to preserve the quality of the air. India was a participant in the United Nations Conference in Stockholm in 1972 held for taking steps in preserving natural resources including the steps for the preservation of quality of air and there by preventing pollutions. As a result of this land mark conference the countries who participated in the conference became aware about the perseverance of natural resources including air that promotes life on earth. The act of 1981 emphasis on the constitution of Central and State Board to set forth procedures for prevention and control of air pollution. The central board is authorized to advice Central Government from time to time take any measures that improves the quality of air and there by preventing air pollution. Nationwide programs to create awareness in people regarding the importance of preservation of air and control and prevention of air pollution can be conducted by the Central Board. The programs for awareness can be delegated to the State Boards for organizing in the respective states. The State Government is authorized after giving proper official gazette notification for the declaration of air pollution control areas. The government can set standards that will prevent any air pollution and can impose control over any area where the air being polluted as a result of emission of smoke or other dangerous substance that pollutes the air.
The State government can give directions for setting standards for the emission from motor vehicles. Operation of any industrial plants in the air pollution control areas is restricted. Such industrial plants can operated in the restricted areas only with the prior permission from the State board. The State Board can grant permission to industrial plants after making an enquiry about the compliance of prescribed procedures for the establishment of the plant in air pollution control areas.
The emission from the plants that exceeds the limit or standards prescribed by the board can be brought before the Court by the Board for getting restriction order from the court restraining the person who emits such air pollutants. The air pollutants can be sent to the State Air Laboratory for analysis and report. Based on the report from the laboratory the Board can take appropriate measures to prevent the air pollution.
The Act of 1981set out various provisions that prevent the air pollution that enables the Central and State Government to take preventive measures for ensuring the quality and restoration of the air, the basic element that constitute life on earth.