Q.4:- To what extent does government regulations and new laws solve problems of pollution? Discuss one example each of the success and failure of legislation to change the quality of
(a) Public life
(b) Private life
Government laws can be effective to control the pollution in a city, provided they can be properly enforced. People find ways of getting around laws. So, apart from legislations, government also needs to carry out intensive public awareness programmes aimed at educating the public about the need and ways of controlling pollution and how they also have a stake in environmental governance.
Examples to show the success of legislation to change the quality of
(a) Public Life The Bengal Smoke Nuisance Commission was successful in controlling industrial smoke in colonial Calcutta.
(b) Private Life The British Government passed the Clean Air Act in 1956. This law was aimed at controlling domestic sources of smoke pollution by introducing the concept of smokeless zones. In these areas, smokeless fuels had to be burnt. As a result, air pollution in British cities was substantially reduced.
Examples to show the failure of legislation to change the quality of
(a) Public Life By the 1840s, British cities such as Derby, Leeds and Manchester had smoke control laws in place. However, these laws did not succeed much in controlling smoke emission. Since smoke was not easy to monitor or measure, it was easy for factory and steam engine owners to get away with small adjustments to their machinery, and this did nothing to reduce the amount of smoke significantly.
(b) Private Life During the colonial period, a huge population depended on dung and wood as fuel in their daily life. This was an important source of air pollution in Calcutta. Though successful in controlling industrial smoke, the Bengal Smoke Nuisance Commission found it difficult to control this domestic smoke.