Rajya Sabha Passes Water Pollution Amendment Bill

  • 08 Feb 2024

On 6th February, 2024, Rajya Sabha approved the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, aiming to decriminalize minor water pollution-related offenses and exempt specific industrial plants from regulatory restrictions.

Key Points

  • Focus on Development and Environment: Union Environment Minister emphasized the necessity for balancing development and environmental protection, advocating for ease of living and business operations alongside transparency in addressing water pollution issues.
  • Rationalizing Criminal Provisions: The amendment aims to rationalize criminal provisions, ensuring that citizens and businesses operate without the fear of imprisonment for minor procedural or technical defaults, aligning penalties with the severity of offenses.
  • Empowering the Central Government: The central government gains authority to exempt certain industrial plants from Section 25 restrictions, reducing regulatory burden and duplication of surveillance efforts.
  • Enhanced Regulatory Framework: Provision is made for the central government to prescribe guidelines regarding the nomination of State Pollution Control Boards' chairpersons, ensuring fair appointments and aligning with similar provisions in the Air Act.