“Health Cost of Industrial Pollution in Angul-Talcher Industrial Area in Orissa, India” Dr.M. Mishra Lecturer in Economics Specialisation: Environmental Economics SCIENCE COLLEGE HINJILICUT-761102 GANJAM,ORISSA, INDIA E mail: m_ firstname.lastname@example.org M_mishra_99@rediffmail.com Introduction: The economy and the environment are not separate entities. Activities of the human economy are not independent of the environment. Economy forces change on the environment, which in turn reacts back forcing unforeseen changes on the economy. In the paving over process industries that fortify the economy with material goods claim the environment at zero prices. The strategy of economic growth with private initiative and industrialization breed the environmental free ride problem in the developing countries. Industries are the important point sources of pollution and environmental pollution is considered as a concomitant feature of industrial agglomerations. Since independence, economic growth through industrialization though widely contested as less than satisfactory, has exerted excess pressure on various facets of the environment and caused serious havoc for the economy and its people in India. In specific localities industrial agglomerations with high intensity of pollution have seriously injured the natural environment. The environmental problems like water and air pollution caused by industrial activity have far reaching consequences on human health through changes in the epidemiological environment. Industrial pollution as a classic negative externality needs quantification and valuation. It is in this context, researchers in environmental and ecological economics are prompted to estimate and appreciate the environmental damage and abatement cost functions. The present study is an attempt to assess human health damage due to air pollution caused by industries for a micro region, (Angul-Talcher Industrial Area) in Orissa, a backward state of India. Problem of S tudy Pollution damages welfare directly (damaging health and contaminating drinking water) or indirectly by being detrimental to production elsewhere (reducing crop productivity, fish population, and lessening available amenities) (Dasgupta 1982). In the absence of institutions and mechanisms to internalize the externalities, the cost of pollution is borne by the people in the form of damages such as health loss and natural resources degradation (Berry and Horton, 1974). The most important types of pollution cost are observed in deterioration of both physical assets and living beings. Examples may be corrosion, cleaning bills and medical costs of the society (Seneca and Taussig, 1974). The link between health and the environment are becoming increasingly complex demanding inter-disciplinary thinking. There is a long history of anthropogenic changes to the environment posing problems for human health and welfare. Problems of air and water pollution remain important causes of concern affecting millions of people. Now there is accumulating evidence of human actions changing the environment on a global scale that leaves wide spread impacts on human health. Such changes along with socioeconomic factors pose worst effect on the most vulnerable sections of the society in the developing countries, the transitional economies. Understanding and managing the interactions among environmental change, development and health are the key scientific challenges that require cooperation between different disciplines. Materials and methods: The study is built upon both the primary and secondary information. An epidemiological survey has been on a cross section data conducted both for the polluted area as well as an adjacent non-polluted area. The excess incidence in the polluted area over the control area is treated as attributable to industrial pollution because the other socio economic factors remain the same for both. The total health damage is composed of both morbidity and mortality. M orbidity damage is assessed on the basis of cost of illness and mortality on value of statistical life. Cost of illness has been obtained from the doctors through a schedule. The value of statistical life has been derived from relevant studies in India. S cope and Objectives: Control of pollution is important for its damaging effects on human health and social welfare. Assessing health damage caused by pollution is important as it provides an impetus for pollution control as well as a means for evaluating the benefits of specific pollution control policy. This paper focuses on the problem of industrial pollution and human health damage caused to a micro region, the Angul- Talcher area in Orissa, India. The area has been chosen because it represents one of the 24 pollution hot spots of Indian Union. Furthermore, the socio-economy of the area is rural and agricultural based with more of people being poor and backward. The work intends an economic assessment of environmental damage, in terms of human health. The study examines pollution caused by large industries only and the area and mobile sources as well as pollution caused by small industries remain outside the scope of study. Concluding Observations: On the basis of damage function approach and through cost of illness method it is found that the people of Angul-Talcher sustained a total health damage of Rs.1775.48 millions, per annum on an average, which is a very high figure for the local people who are poor . It is observed that the damage occurs even in the presence of a command and control regime. Angul-Talcher acts as growth pole for the national economy, industries of the area are key and strategic for economic development, but the local people suffer the worst in terms of environmental damage, particularly health hazards which is very costly. Though achieving Indian standard for various pollutants requires large investments, comparing the benefits associated with reduction of premature mortality and morbidity, it is felt that the industries as well as the policy makers should be prompted to undertake pollution control options. Since command and control mechanism fails economic instruments should be tried.
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