The Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act 1974 was enacted with the view to prevent the water pollution. The main objective of the act is to prevent pollution of water to restore the wholesomeness of water for consuming without the threat of contamination. For the implementation of the provisions of the act, Boards are constituted by the virtue of the act for the afore stated purpose. An important element that constitutes life on earth after air and food is water. All living beings are dependants of air and water. The life on earth is not possible without water. India is blessed with numerous water sources from small water holes to streams, rivers, lakes etc. The remarkable factor is majority of our country’s water sources are pure water sources without any pollutants. As a result of modernization and urbanization the contamination or pollution of our pure water sources increased to an uncontrollable level. In ancient times or during the Vedic period India had admirable tradition of worshiping water and today to a certain extent still considers water as holy. In olden times the rivers were worshiped as deities and no ritual from birth to death was performed without water. Water always had a respectable position in every Indian household irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Today plight of many water sources which were given good care is pathetic as the pollution or the water contamination level is so high. The water is contaminated in several ways by the act of human beings. The dumping of wastes is the main cause for water pollution. All types of waste materials are dumped even in water sources that are used for drinking purpose. When the pollution rate increased the Government of India was prompted to take preventive measures for controlling the water pollution.
Under the act Board is defined as State or Central Board and Central Board means Central Pollution Control Board stated in section 3 of the act. Pollution is defined as anything that alters the physical, chemical or biological properties of water that in turn results in harming the life of human beings and other living beings including animals and plants. According to section 21 of the act the samples can be collected for analyzing the presence of pollutants or contaminating element in the water.
Section 24 of the act prohibits any usage of streams or wells for disposal of sewage or contaminating elements to the streams ore wells. Any person who is aggrieved by the act of Board can prefer appeal against concerned higher authority of the Board. According to section 32 if any pollution occurs due to an uncontrollable event, emergency measures can be taken for preventing the pollution. The element that caused the pollution can be removed immediately and by issuing order against persons who caused such pollution restricting them not to discharge such pollutants. The Board is conferred with the power to seek judicial protection by getting order from the Court refrains the activities of any person in disposal of sewage or any other pollutant in the water. Any act done in contravention of the provisions in the act is liable for punishment of imprisonment of one year and six months that may extent to six years with fine. A central water laboratory is constituted by virtue of section 51 of the act for the analyzing and reports the elements or trade effluents that cause water pollution.
The Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act 1974 is having a wide scope and impact in effective control in water pollution that is too high in urban and high density populated areas.