Q-9. What are the responsibilities of polluting industry to prevent and control pollution ?
A. Clearances like Consent to establish and Environmental Clearance or CRZ clearance need to be obtained before setting up of an industrial unit and Consent/Authorization are mandatory before starting of the production. Running a polluting industry without the mandatory clearances is an offence and such unit will be liable to face stringent actions like closure and prosecution. Clearances are given for stipulated period and they need to be renewed before the term expires. Activities like contaminating the land by illegal dumping of hazardous wastes will invite penal provisions like fine and restoration of the contaminated land at the cost of the polluter, in addition to other steps.
Q-10. Is pollution a necessary price that we have to pay for achieving development ?
A. No. The laws stipulate that all development should be carried out with minimal occurrence of pollution. Technologies are available for controlling pollution as per the norms prescribed for different processes. Therefore, the perception that pollution is the price for securing fast development is erroneous.
Q-11. What is the concept of sustainable development ?
A. In simple terms, it means that the development process should be carried out in such a way that damage to environment is minimal. It also means that the present generation, should utilize the resources in such a manner that the ability of posterity to have quality of life is not undermined. It also means that irreversible damage to environment should not take place in the process of development.
Q-12. What is the role of GPCB in securing sustainable development ?
A. The entire spectrum of laws and regulations which the GPCB is regulating has the aim of minimizing pollution and thereby securing sustainable development. It also advises and enforces measures for prevention of pollution by way of adoption of cleaner technologies and recycling and reuse of wastes. In grave situation, it acts to the extent of closing down the polluting unit which may damage the ecology in an irreversible fashion.
Q-13. Is GPCB the only authority to control pollution ?
A. GPCB is the chief regulator for a clutch of laws enacted and notified by the Government of India. However, it terms of other laws and also as implementing authority under environmental laws, authorities like District Magistrate, Govt. Departments like Home Department, Transport Department, Labour Department, Inspectorate of Factories, Health Dept., Local Bodies, Forests and Environment Dept., Civil Supplies Dept., Urban Development Dept., Industries Dept. etc. have very important role to play in controlling pollution.
Q-14. What can a citizen do to prevent and control pollution ?
A. A citizen can do much by adopting a code of conduct for himself to desist from all activity which may pollute the environment. He can also bring to the notice of the authorities including GPCB about the violation of laws meant to protect environment. He can also sensitize the neighborhood about the right practices for preventing the damage to environment through Neighborhood Associations, Voluntary Organizations etc. In extra-ordinary situation, citizens have the legal right to approach the Court of Law after giving 60 days notice to GPCB in the prescribed format.
Q-15. What is the purpose behind laying down standards for pollution control?
A. The idea behind laying down standards is basically due to the realization that minimal pollution is rather inevitable in the production process. The environment has the capacity to absorb the minimal amount of pollution without any serious adverse impact. However, if this exceeds a certain limit than the damage to environment cannot be avoided. The standards are fixed at the threshold, where the pollutants released by the production process do not lead to such a situation. In other words the standards are decided to contain the release of pollutant to the environment and thereby protect the overall quality of environment. In some cases the standards are industry specific as well as location specific.
Q-16. Who prescribes the standards for pollution control?
A. The standards are prescribed by the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Central Pollution Control Board and Gujarat Pollution Control Board.