Environment Ministry Directs CPCB to Ensure Better Implementation of Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991

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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued directions under the Water Act and the Air Act to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure better implementation of Public Liability Insurance (PLI) Act, 1991.
What is Public Liability Insurance Act
  • This act to provide insurance for the purpose of providing immediate relief to the persons affected by accident occurring while handling any hazardous substance and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • Act makes it obligatory upon the user industries handling 179 types of chemicals and compounds and other classes of flammable substances to subscribe a special insurance policy to cover the liabilities likely to arise on account of any chemical (industrial) disaster/accident and payable to those affected people who are not the workers on ‘no fault basis’/ ‘absolute liability’.
  • The Act establishes an Environment Relief Fund (ERF), which is subscribed by all such user industries by an amount equal to the annual premium amount of such insurance policies.
Who administer it

PLI Act is administered by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.

Objective of act

Main objective of the Public Liability Insurance Act 1991 is to provide for damages to victims of an accident which occurs as a result of handling any hazardous substance. The Act applies to all owners associated with the production or handling of any hazardous chemicals.

What are steps taken to strengthen implementation of act

There are many cases where owners have failed to subscribe PLI policies because of ignorance. In view of the above strengthening the implementation of the provisions of the Act so far, the Ministry has initiated several steps to strengthen the implementation of the Act, some of which includes:

1. All the State Pollution Control Boards(SPCBs)/Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) for UTs have been advised on 16th April, 2015 for including PLI insurance policy as one of the point in the check list before according or renewing CTE or CTO to an industry with a follow up letter on 16th June, 2015.
2. A meeting of general insurance companies had been convened on 29th April, 2015 to sensitizing them.
3. A letter has been written to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) on 1st July, 2015 to draft a standard PLI policy for uniformity.
4. An advisory has been written in July, 2015 to PSUs, big industry houses and industry associations such as FICCI, CII, CMA, ICC, etc. to subscribe to PLI policy and pay ERF.

About CPCB

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 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.

Function of CPCB

  • 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.
  • It promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and
  • Work to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.
  • It advise the central government to prevent and control water and air pollution. It also advise the Governments of Union Territories about an industry or the pollution source causing water and air pollution.
  • It Co-ordinates the activities of the State Boards by providing technical assistance and guidance 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;
  • Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air.


Source: New feed

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