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Water Act

Water (Prevention and Control Of Pollution)Act,1974, as Ammended upto 1988
An Act to provide for the Prevention and Control of Water pollution and the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water, for the establishment, with a view to carrying out the purposes aforesaid, of Boards for the Prevention and Control of Water pollution, for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating thereto and for matters connected therewith.

WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution and the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water, for the establishment, with a view to carrying out the purposes aforesaid, of Boards for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution and for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating thereto;

AND WHEREAS Parliament has no power to make laws for the States with respect to any of the matters aforesaid except as provided in articles 249 and 250 of the Constitution;

AND WHEREAS in pursuance of clause (1) of article 252 of the Constitution resolutions have been by all the Houses of the Legislatures of States of Assam, Bihar, Gujarat Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tripura and West Bengal to the effect that the matters aforesaid should be regulated in those States by Parliament by law;


Important provisions in the Act

1) Section 2 (J): Definition of stream

2) Section 17 (G): To lay down / modify standards
Section 17 (I): To revoke any order
Section 17 (N): To advise state Government on location of any Industry.
Section 17 (2): To establish or recognise laboratories

3) Section 18: Powers to give directions to state boards by Central Pollution Control Board / State Government.

4) Section 20: Power to obtain information.

5) Section 21: Powers to take samples of effluents & procedures to be followed.

6) Section 22: Report of the results of analysis and procedures to be followed.

7) Section 23: Powers of entry and inspection.

8) Section 24: Prohibition on use of stream or well for disposal of polluting matter.

9) Sections 25 & 26: Require consent to establish or operation of any industry from the board.

10) Section 27: Refusal or withdrawal of consent by boards.

11) Section 28: Appeal

12) Section 29: Revision of orders of board by state government.

13) Section 30: Powers of state board to carryout certain work.

14) Section 31: Furnishing of information to state boards such as accident etc.

15) Section 32 (C): Emergency measures in case of pollution stream or well (issuing orders immediately restraining or prohibiting from discharge of pollutants)

16) Section 33: Power of board to make application to courts for restraining apprehended pollution of water in stream or well.

17) Section 33 (A):  Power to give directions (Closure, stoppage of electricity, water or any other service).


Penalties and Procedures

1) Section 41:  Failure to comply with directions under sub-section (2) or (3) of section 20, or orders issued under clause of sub-section (i) of section 32 or directions issued under sub-section (2) of section 33 or section 33 (a).

A. Section 20 (2) or (30):  3 months imprisonment or fine of Rs.10,000/- or both
if continues, Rs.5,000/- day from the date of conviction.

B. Section 32 (C) (1):  imprisonment 11/2 year (mini), 6 years (maxi) & with fine

Section 33 (2):  If continues Rs. 5000/day

Section 33(A):  If continues beyond one year imprisonment 2 years (mini), 7 years (maxi) with fine.

2. Section 42: Penalty for certain acts like destroys, obstruct any person of Board, damages property of Board, fails to furnish information to Board, fails to intimate occurrence of accident (section 31), giving false statements etc. Imprisonment – 3 months or fine of Rs. 10,000/- or with both.

3. Section 43: Penalty for contravention of section 24 imprisonment 11/2 years (mini), 6 years (maxi) & with fine

Cognizance can be taken either on a complaint filed by the Board itself or with the previous sanction of the Board if the complaint is not filed by the Board itself.

4. Section 44:  Penalty for contravention of section 25 or section 26.
Imprisonment – 11/2 years (mini), 6 years (max) & with fine.

5. Section 45:  Enhanced penalty under section 24 or 25 or 26 is again found guilty involving contravention of the same provision, he shall, on the second & on every subsequent conviction.
Imprisonment – 2 years (mini), 7 years (maxi) and with fine.

For the purpose of this section no cognizance shall be taken of any conviction made more than 2 years before the commission of the offence which is being punished.

6) Section 45 (a): Penalty for contravention of certain provisions of the act.
Contravenes any provision of the act or fails to comply with any order or direction issued under this act, for which no penalty has been elsewhere provided in this act.

Imprisonment 3 months or fine upto Rs.10,000/- or with both.

Continuing contravention – Rs. 5,000/- day.

7) Section 46:  Publication of names of offenders

8) Section 47:  Offences by companies

9) Section 48:  Offences by government departments.

10) Section 49:  Cognizance of offences.

1.  no court shall take cognizance of any offence under this act except on a complaint made by

a. a board or any officer authorised in this behalf by it or
b. any person who has given notice not less than 60 days, in the manner prescribed, of the alleged offence & of his intention to make a compliant to the board or officer authorised.

2. only the court of metropolitan magistrate or a judicial magistrate of the Ist class or any court superior to that can take the cognizance of the offence.

3. not withstanding anything contained in (section 29 of the cr.p.c. 1973) it shall be lawful for the above courts to pass

Imprisonment 2 years (mini) or fine exceeding Rs.2,000/-.

Metropolitan magistrate or magistrate of Ist class means a court established by cr.p.c. order under cr.p.c. and passed by criminal court.

11) Section 56 :  Compulsory acquisition of land for the state board.

The state board is empowered to acquire any land for the efficient performance of its functions (public purpose) under the provisions of land acquisition act, 1894 as any corresponding law in force.


Important forms in connection with implementing the provisions of the act :

1) FROM X: Form of report of state board analyst.
2) FORM XI: Report of state water laboratory.
3) FORM XII: Notice for collection of samples under section 21
4) FORM XIII: Application for consent
5) FROM XIV: Notice for making enquiry into application for consent.

AP State Water Rules, 1976 PDF-download-icon