Miscelleneous : Environmental Legislation

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Like many other countries, to protect environment, in India we have environmental legislation, which includes:

Water, air, land and soil, forests, lakes, rivers, sea, wildlife and other living creatures and the inter-relationship which exists amongst and in between these elements vis-a-vis human beings and other livings creatures, plants, forests, property and micro-organisms etc. The following three Acts have been placed on the Statute books and Rules framed thereunder.

1. Water (prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1974
2. Air (prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1981 and
3. Environment (protection) Act, 1986

These 3 Acts have been amended from time to time to meet the needs of various situations. Noise Pollution an another important topic has been included.

In India do we make environmental legislation to implement or for an eye wash!

(A) Purchase of Analytical Instruments for Central Pollution Control Board, from World Bank loan.

In spite of the center's decision to give incentives to the private sectors, 50 years after independence millions of dollars analytical instruments are purchased from foreign countries when Indian manufactures are capable of manufacturing some of them in India.

Dr. Dipankar Chakraborti, Director, School of Environmental Studies, Jadavpur University was a member of the technical committee set up by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi to recommend manufacturers for the purchase of laboratory instruments. NTPC, a World Bank agent, floated tenders for the purchase of these instruments for the Central Pollution Control Board from World Bank loan of Rs. 10 crore. The NTPC screened the tenders and referred certain bidders to the technical committee for their recommendations after ensuring that they fulfilled the specifications.

The instruments in question were Atomic Absorption Spectrometer to be used for heavy metal analysis and Gas Chromatograph needed for the analysis of pesticides and hydrocarbons.

The technical committee decided to promote Indian manufactures for part of the AAS project and all members and Member Secretary of CPCB were unanimous that the entire Gas Chromatograph should go to the Indian manufacture. After discussing with the manufacturer technical committee was satisfied that the indigenous industry meet all the requirement of CPCB for the Gas Chromatograph purchase. The manufacturer agreed to attend instrument if it is out of order within 72 hours and further guaranteed for spare parts for at least next 10 years. To judge the performance the Indian made Gas Chromatograph, the committee asked CPCB to make a comparative study of the product of the Indian manufacture with one of the best foreign Gas Chromatograph. After two weeks of testing the committee found the Indian instrument recommended by the committee is as good as one of the best western Gas Chromatographs and that concluded the project should go to the Indian manufacture, as it would save the considerable foreign exchange and encourage the Indian industries.

However, finally the order went to bidders not recommended by the technical committee. The experts felt that if NTPC, ministry and higher authority of the CPCB decide on their own way then what is the meaning of the technical committee. They violated the decision of the technical committee. When Dr. Chakraborti asked to the Member Secretary of the CPCB, Dr. S. P. Chakraborti, he refused to comment. As protest Dr. Chakraborti resigned from Technical Committee (June 1998).

In the 1950's Japan technical instruments were considered the worst in international standard, at present this one of the bests. This became possible due to government's encouragement to the indigenous manufactures.

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