Working Papers

The State of India’s Pollution Control Boards – A Series of Papers

State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and their counterparts in union territories, the Pollution Control Committees (PCCs), are responsible for several key functions to curb air pollution. These include granting consents, setting emission and effluent standards, monitoring compliance of industry with these standards, and enforcement action in case of violations. However, they have often come under fire for failing to effectively deliver on their mandate. Over the years, several studies have revealed that SPCBs and PCCs do not have the resources and capacity to perform the functions assigned to them under various laws. In ‘The State of India’s Pollution Control Boards’, we explore some of the key institutional issues faced by SPCBs and PCCs in the Indo-Gangetic Plain through a series of papers:

  • “Who has a seat at the table?” – Examines the composition of the Boards and their ability to engage in policy-making and take decisions in furtherance of their statutory goals.
  • “Who is at the helm?” – Analyses the qualifications of the Board’s leadership, the length and stability of their tenure, and whether they are well-placed to guide the Boards’ functioning.
  • “Who is in the field?” – Evaluates the adequacy of the Boards’ capacity – particularly technical capacity – to perform critical functions like consent granting, inspection, monitoring, and enforcement.
  • “Are they in the green?” – Analyses the fiscal health and autonomy of the Boards, examines spending patterns and evaluates their capacity to effectively utilise finances (released on April 27, 2023)

Links to all PDFs are below:

    1. Executive Summary of the series
    2. Who has a seat at the table?, Annexure
    3. Who is at the helm?
    4. Who is in the field?
    5. Are they in the green?, Annexure (April 2023)
    6. All RTI responses for the study

Note: This page was updated on 31/10/2022 (addressed minor errors) and on 27/04/2023 (uploaded fourth working paper).