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What is the main purpose of the Environment Protection Act 1986? Will the recent proposal to ‘decriminalize’ its provision dilute its effectiveness? Critically analyse

Topic: Environment Conservation

5. What is the main purpose of the Environment Protection Act 1986? Will the recent proposal to ‘decriminalize’ its provision dilute its effectiveness? Critically analyse (10M)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The Environment Ministry proposes to soften the provisions of the Environment Protection Act (EPA) by replacing a clause that provides for imprisoning violators with one that only requires them to pay a fine. 

Key Demand of the question:

Write down the mandate of the act and analyse the recent changes brought in it.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving a briefly describing EPA 1986

Body:

Write down its main purpose

e.g., The Act covers all forms of pollution; air, water, soil and noise. It provides safety standards for the presence of various pollutants in the environment. It prohibits the use of hazardous material unless prior permission is taken from the Central Government.

Then briefly describe the recent changes brought it.

Then answer, will the recent changes dilute its effectiveness- Yes/No: Give reasons for each.

Conclusion:

Give a balanced conclusion about what more need to be done in EPA 1986.