Our water resources get contaminated by industrial, agricultural and domestic wastewater everyday. The wastewater poses as a serious health hazard when it reaches wetlands, rivers, lakes and the sea.

The Indian Government introduced the Water Act in 1974 (with certain modifications in 1978) to focus on methods for the prevention and control of water pollution alongside the conservation and restoration of safe and high quality water.

The Water Pollution Cess Act is an act constituted under the Water (PCP) Act. It clearly states that anyone consuming water has to a certain amount of tax/cess depending on whether they are using water for industrial cooling  , processing ( where the pollutants are biodegradable or non-biodegradable and toxic in nature ) or simply for domestic purposes . Also, industries having a suitable treatment plant to treat industrial wastewater may get a rebate of 70 percent on the cess payable.

In order to carry out the laws stated in the Water Act, the Central and State Government have set up Pollution Control Boards (PCBs). Their main task is to monitor water pollution.

Along with a number of things , this act authorizes the Central and State boards to take water samples for analysis , set up minimum and maximum penalties and deal with offences by companies or industries. They are also expected to keep an eye on the discharge of sewage or trade effluents. Only with the consent of the State Board can companies or industries discharge effluents. To permit industries to do so, the State Board may put forth some specific conditions.

People who fail to abide by the regulations cannot be sued without the sanction of the State Board .


Bare Act: Water Act, 1974


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