CHAPTER - 1

Impact of Legal Framework

3.0 Impact of Legal Framework
3.1 Problems in enforcement of Legislation
3.2 Concentration Based Standards
3.3 Command and Control Policies



3.0 Impact of Legal Framework
The results achieved so far with the existing regulatory regime though positive are apparently limited. In case of air quality, ambient air quality has been deteriorating in the four metropolitan cities (Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai, and Mumbai), despite reducing intensity of air emissions from industries. In the case of water quality, the degree and extent of violation of prescribe emission standards / norms appears to have declined and especially so for key parameters such as BOD and coliform count etc., as discharged by industries across the country.
However, the continual degradation of the environment despite provision of several rules and regulations can be attributed to various reasons, some of which have been enumerated here.

3.1 Problems in enforcement of Legislation
The enforcing agencies find it increasingly difficult to enforce the regulatory standards on the industries. The major problems faced by the enforcing agencies are :
- Less than required regulatory / enforcing manpower in regulatory agencies compared to the ever increasing number of industries.
- Lack of adequate technical knowledge / skills required for enforcement of regulations
- Resistance to change / attitudinal problems prevalent in industry
- Lack of financial resources in general.

3.2 Concentration Based Standards
The Central Pollution Control Board has laid down ambient air and water quality standards, whereas the actual enforcement provisions relate to at source pollution. The absence of an appropriately defined link between ambient and source standards has had an immense impact on the environment. It is evident that despite increasing number of individual industries meeting emission standards, the total quantity of pollutants (pollution load on the environment) in the environment has been rising due to increase in the number of industries setting production facilities in a given area.
3.3 Command and Control Policies
Till recently, the Government has tended to rely on the policy of direct regulation i.e. the command and control principle for pollution control. Little attention has been paid to alternative strategies such as minimizing the cost of achieving certain ambient standards, or improvement in manufacturing efficiencies etc., for achieving enhanced social and cost benefits etc. In fact most studies have indicated that pure command and control regimes are often four to six times costlier than market based regimes. It has been recognized that the problem of pollution has become more acute over time despite the regulations and hence conventional regulatory instruments should be combined with fiscal incentives, voluntary agreements, information and public participation etc.