ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Challenges in Regulating Water Pollution in India

With rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, the problem of water pollution in India has escalated dramatically over the last few decades. The regulatory apparatus, has, however, lagged behind. Major gaps in standard setting, including lack of standards for ambient water quality, poor monitoring and weak enforcement by the pollution control boards are the major proximate causes. Controlling water pollution will require a concerted effort to address these regulatory failures.

Dead Hand of Government

The government gives, the government also takes away. Early this year the government, in its infinite wisdom, decided to permit the export of urea. It has now changed its mind: no, urea will not be allowed to be exported. It is seldom considered necessary to give reasons for such changes of policy, or even to make proper public announcements. The decisions are conveyed to those directly concerned – say, the fertiliser producers in this case, from whom the news may, or may not, be picked up and carried in the media. So much for transparency and accountability in the government’s functioning.
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