Every thing need to know about the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

Apr 23, 2021 - 11:59
Jul 1, 2021 - 10:46
Every thing need to know about the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the statutory organisation, was constituted in September 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Principal Functions of the CPCB, as spelt out in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, (i) to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and (ii) to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.

Air Quality Monitoring is an important part of air quality management. The National Air Monitoring Programme (NAMP) has been established with objectives to determine the present air quality status and trends and to control and regulate pollution from industries and another source to meet the air quality standards. It also provides background air quality data needed for industrial siting and towns planning.

Besides this, CPCB has an automatic monitoring station at ITO Intersection in New Delhi. At this station, Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) are being monitored regularly. This information on Air Quality at ITO is updated every week.

Water Quality Monitoring is an important part of Water quality management. Freshwater is a finite resource essential for use in agriculture, industry, propagation of wildlife & fisheries and for human existence. India is a riverine country. It has 14 major rivers, 44 medium rivers and 55 minor rivers besides numerous lakes, ponds and wells which are used as the primary source of drinking water even without treatment. Most of the rivers being fed by monsoon rains, which is limited to only three months of the year, run dry throughout the rest of the year often carrying wastewater discharges from industries or cities/towns endangering the quality of our scarce water resources. The parliament of India in its wisdom enacted the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 with a view to maintaining and restoring the wholesomeness of our water bodies. One of the mandates of CPCB is to collect, collate and disseminate technical and statistical data relating to water pollution. Hence, Water Quality Monitoring (WQM) and Surveillance are of utmost importance.


Functions of the Central Board at the National Level

  • Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air.
  • Plan and cause to be executed a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;
  • Coordinate the activities of the State Board and resolve disputes among them;
  • Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigation and research relating to problems of water and air pollution, and for their prevention, control or abatement;
  • Plan and organise training of persons engaged in the programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;
  • Organise through mass media, a comprehensive mass awareness programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;
  • Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to water and air pollution and the measures devised for their effective prevention, control or abatement;
  • Prepare manuals, codes and guidelines relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents as well as for stack gas cleaning devices, stacks and ducts;
  • Disseminate information in respect of matters relating to water and air pollution and their prevention and control;
  • Lay down, modify or annul, in consultation with the State Governments concerned, the standards for stream or well, and lay down standards for the quality of air; and
  • Perform such other function as may be prescribed by the Government of India.
Functions of the Central Board as State Boards for the Union Territories
  • Advise the Governments of Union Territories with respect to the suitability of any premises or location for carrying on any industry which is likely to pollute a stream or well or cause air pollution; Lay down standards for treatment of sewage and trade effluents and for emissions from automobiles, industrial plants, and any other polluting source; Evolve efficient methods for disposal of sewage and trade effluents on land; develop reliable and economically viable methods of treatment of sewage, trade effluent and air pollution control equipment; Identify any area or areas within Union Territories as air pollution control area or areas to be notified under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981; Assess the quality of ambient water and air, and inspect wastewater treatment installations, air pollution control equipment, industrial plants or manufacturing process to evaluate their performance and to take steps for the prevention, control and abatement of air and water pollution.

As per the policy decision of the Government of India, the CPCB has delegated its powers and functions under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 with respect to Union Territories to respective local administrations. CPCB along with its counterparts State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) are responsible for the implementation of legislation relating to prevention and control of environmental pollution.


CPCB is constituted on 22 cleanliness of streams, wells. The Environment Protection Act (EPA) was passed in 1986 to close the gaps in the Water and Air Act, by adding some more functions to the CPCB. CPCB plays role in abatement and control of pollution in the country by generating relevant data, providing scientific information, rendering technical inputs for the formation of national policies and programs, training and developing manpower and organising activities for promoting awareness at different levels of the Government and public. Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) was established in 1991 by Central Government works with (CPCB) and (NGT) to control the pollution in the Capital.

The organisational structure of CPCB

CPCB is led by its Chairman following by the Member Secretary. The CPCB performs its various functions through the following nine major project\ budget heads. Pollution assessment (survey and monitoring). R&D and laboratory management. Development of standards and guidelines for industry-specific emissions and effluents standards Training Information database management and library Pollution control technology Pollution control enforcement Mass awareness and publications Hazard waste management

Divisions of CPCB Head Office

CPCB head office is currently divided into 22 divisions. Each division has its own in charge and individual sets of goals.

Pollution Control Planning Division (PCP) Pollution,

Assessment, Monitoring & Survey (PAMS).[36]

Pollution Control Implementation Division -I (PCI-I).

Pollution Control Implementation Division-II (PCI-II).

Pollution Control Implementation Division - III (PCI-III).

Urban Pollution Control Division (UPCD).

Hazardous Waste Management Division (HWMD).

Information Technology.

Environmental Training Unit (ETU).









Zonal offices

CPCB has established 7 zonal offices catering to various States. Zonal offices are field offices of CPCB and all the schemes are prepared at the Head office are executed by them. Zonal offices undertake field investigation and send reports on Water Quality Monitoring, Air Quality Monitoring, Industrial Inspection and other such related activities to the Head office for further action. Each zonal office caters to a fixed number of states. The Zonal Offices are located at Bengaluru, Kolkata, Shillong, Bhopal, Lucknow, Vadodara and a Project Office at Agra.


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