Health Cost of Industrial Pollution in Angul-Talcher Industrial Area by pnx67864


									     “Health Cost of Industrial Pollution in Angul-Talcher
              Industrial Area in Orissa, India”

                               Dr.M. Mishra
                          Lecturer in Economics
                 Specialisation: Environmental Economics
                           SCIENCE COLLEGE
                       GANJAM,ORISSA, INDIA
                     E mail: m_

     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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