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West Bengal Pollution Control Board

Powers and duties of officers and employees


(Administration has been requested to provide relevant/current/modified information to incorporate the same on 29.10.2014 and on 04.05.2015)

The powers stated hereunder are in exercise of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.


a) Power to give directions to obtain information:


The powers stated hereunder are in exercise of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.


The State Board may give directions requiring any person who in its opinion is abstracting water from any such stream or well in the area in quantities which are substantial in relation to the flow or volume of that stream or well or is discharging sewage or trade effluent into any such stream or well, to give such information as to the abstraction or the discharge at such times and in such form as may be specified in the directions


The State Board may, with a view to preventing or controlling pollution of water, give directions requiring any person in charge of any establishment where any (industry, operation or process, or treatment and disposal system) is carried on, to furnish to it information regarding the construction, installation or operation of such establishments or of any disposal system or of any extension or addition thereto in such establishment and such other particulars as may be prescribed.


b) Power to take samples of effluents


The State Board or any officer authorized in this behalf shall have the power:
  • to take samples of water from any stream or well
  • to take samples of any sewage or trade effluent passing from any plant or vessel or over any place into any such stream or well.


c) Power of entry and inspection


Any person authorized in this behalf by the State Board shall have the right to enter at any time for the purpose of any functions entrusted by the Board, for example, to determine whether an order or direction is being complied with or for the purposes of examining plant, premises, or any material object or for search and seizure of any material object which may furnish evidence of commission of an offence under the Act. Entry shall be at reasonable hours if the premises are used for residential purposes.


d) Authorisation for new outlets and new discharges and power of State Board to take action with regard to unauthorized outlets


Prior consent of the State Board is necessary for the following:
  1. to set up any industry, plant or process which is likely to discharge sewage or trade effluent into a stream or well or sewer or on land; or
  2. to bring into use any new or altered outlets for the discharge of sewage; or
  3. to begin to make any new discharge of sewage.
Where, such prior consent has not been taken, then the State Board may serve on the person who has established or taken steps to establish any industry, operation or process, or any treatment and disposal system or any extension or addition thereto, or using the outlet, or making the discharge, as the case may be, a notice imposing any such conditions as it might have imposed on an application for its consent in respect of such establishment, such outlet or discharge.


The State Board shall maintain a register containing particulars or conditions and so much of the register as relates to any outlet, or to any effluent, from any land or premises shall be open to inspection at all reasonable hours by any person interested in, or affected by such outlet, land or premises, as the case may be, or by any person authorised by him in this behalf and the conditions so contained in such register shall be conclusive proof that the consent was granted subject to such conditions.


e) Power to refuse or withdrawal of consent by State Board


The State Board shall not grant consent if the industry, operation or process or treatment and disposal system is not installed.


f) Power of State Board to carry out certain works


The State Board may serve upon the person a notice asking the person concerned to do a specified work within the specified time failing which the Board itself shall execute the work. The related expenses shall be borne by the defaulting party.


g) Power to take emergency measures in case of pollution of stream or well


The State Board may issue orders to remove the matter, which is, or may cause pollution; or remedy or mitigate the pollution; or issue prohibition orders to the concerned persons from discharging any poisonous, or noxious or polluting matter.


h) Power of Board to make application to courts for restraining apprehended pollution of water in streams or wells
  1. Where it is apprehended by a Board that the water in any stream or well is likely to be polluted by reason of the disposal or likely disposal of any matter in such stream or well or in any sewer, or on any land, or otherwise, the Board may make an application to a court (not inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class) for restraining the person who is likely to cause such pollution from so causing.
  2. On receipt of an application, the court make such order as it deems fit.
  3. Where the court makes an order restraining any person from polluting the water in any stream or well, it may in that order:
    1. direct the person who is likely to cause or has caused the pollution of the water in the stream or well, to desist from taking such action as is likely to cause pollution or, as the case may be, to remove such stream or well, such matter, and
    2. authorise the Board, if the direction for the removal of any matter from such stream or well is not complied with by the person to whom such direction is issued, to undertake the removal and disposal of the matter in such manner as may be specified by the court.
  4. Ensuring control of pollution through such instruments,


i) Power to give directions


The Board may issue any directions in writing to any person, officer or authority, and such person, officer or authority shall be bound to comply with such directions. This includes the power to direct the closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, operation or process; or the stoppage or regulation of supply of electricity, or water or any other service.
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