With reference to the editorial “Detox for pollution boards” (July 26), the problem with the enforcement of pollution laws lies in having both Central and State standards and administration by State governments. States have lax enforcement due to political and local influences. The Companies Act, 1913 as amended in 1936, is a Central Act but was being administered by the State governments. It became a total mess and the Centre took over enforcement on April 1, 1956.

The solution for pollution control and environmental protection is to have a single comprehensive Central Act covering air, water, noise and even noise pollution. Directors in States can head the enforcement and a Central Board consisting of technical, industry, and judicially-trained members should monitor enforcement nationally. Penalties must be stringent including hefty fines, imprisonment and closure of industrial units violating norms. The “polluter pays” principle may not meet the test of equality before law and thus violates the Constitution.

Ganti Mahapatruni Rama Rao,

Visakhapatnam

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