تاثیر آلودگی آب در مناطق روستایی: تجزیه و تحلیل اقتصادی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|28298||2006||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10645 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 58, Issue 3, 25 June 2006, Pages 520–537
This paper assesses the economic costs of water pollution (industrial) in the rural communities in terms of losses to agricultural production, human health, and livestock. The cost estimates are based on the detailed primary (household level) data collected from an intensive study of two villages–one a pollution-affected village and another control (not affected by pollution)–located in one of the industrial belts in Andhra Pradesh, South India. The cost estimates revealed that the impact of industrial pollution on rural communities is quite substantial in monetary terms. The paper argues that the compensation principle might work if the estimates of damage are realistic. Further, mere passing of laws and creating institutional structures are necessary but not sufficient to address the environmental problems. Policies should be implemented in their right perspective. Institutions should be strong enough, with more autonomy and powers, to deal with the problems at hand.
An important dimension of water resources that has not received due attention is its quality aspects. The rapid industrialization in developing countries, though contributed to economic development, has resulted in heavy losses to economic welfare in terms of effects on agricultural activities, human health and ecosystem at large through air and water pollution. Basically water pollution poses a serious challenge due to its impact on a large number of economic activities. The problem of water pollution acquires greater relevance in the context of an agrarian economy like India. While the magnitude of the problem is limited and widely spread, the losses due to its impact are quite substantial. This is mainly due to its direct impact on human health and livelihoods. Though there are a number of empirical studies on agriculture related environmental problems, such as soil degradation, wind and water erosion, only a few studies have dealt with environmental problems associated with industrial pollution and its impact on agriculture and other sectors. Though at the macro level Pearce David and Warford (1993) have estimated the costs of environmental degradation in terms of human health, soil erosion, deforestation, etc., majority of the indicators are not directly related to industrial pollution. It was shown that the damage costs in developing countries are higher than those in developed countries (Pearce David and Warford, 1993). According to their estimates the environmental costs in the developing countries were about 5% of their GDP. A few studies have dealt with the impact of industrial pollution on agriculture, human health and ecosystems in the developed countries (Pearce et al., 1978). Pearce David and Warford (1993) have argued that the most important and immediate consequences of environmental degradation in the developing world take the form of damage to human health. Yonggua et al. (2001) have made an attempt to estimate the impact of industrial pollution on agriculture, human health and industrial activities in Chongqingm, which is one of the heavily polluted mega cities in China. It was estimated that the total costs of industrial pollution were 1.2% of Chongqing's gross product. Of this 56% is in agriculture sector, while the damages to human capital and industrial sector are 20% and 18%, respectively. These studies reveal that industrial pollution imposes severe costs on other related sectors in an economy. In the recent years, attempts have been made in India to estimate the various impacts of industrial pollution and sewage on human health, agriculture and livestock and other sectors of the economy (Shankar, 2001, Dasgupta, 2001, Murty et al., 1999 and Markandya and Murty, 2000). However, in most of these studies estimates are made on the basis of single reference point. They have not taken into account the changes over the period or compared the affected situations with that of a controlled situation. This study is an attempt to estimate the costs of industrial pollution on various aspects of rural livelihoods in a systematic manner. Such an approach assumes importance in the context of policy formulations. Besides, the study region provides a unique opportunity to understand the policy dynamics due to the active involvement of the civil society, judiciary and other stake holders in the process of sorting out the problem. For that reason, policy interventions have already been made in the study region to address the problems without much success. In fact, following an agitation by the local communities a judicial committee after enquiry has come up with a compensation package to the rural household, which was rejected. This study would help us to understand the reasons for the policy failure. This paper makes an attempt to estimate the costs of industrial pollution with a focus on the environmental impact of water pollution on the rural communities in general and on agricultural production, human health, and livestock in particular. Some of the important issues in this regard are as follows: (a) linkages between the industrial development and changes in micro (local) environment, (b) damage to crops, livestock and human health in the rural communities due to pollution, and (c) understanding the reasons for the policy failure in addressing the problem. These issues are studied in detail with the help of primary (household level) data collected from an intensive study of two villages—one a pollution-affected village and another a control village (not affected by pollution) located in the industrial belt near Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh State. The paper is organized in four sections. Section 2 discusses the data used and the methodologies adopted in the study. Based on the data analysis, impact and valuation of the damages due to pollution are estimated in Section 3. The last section narrates the policy failures and options in correcting the problem.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
To recapitulate, the impact of industrial pollution on rural communities is quite substantial in monetary terms alone. The costs of damage would be much higher if social costs such as alienation of the village (marriages, social visits, etc.) by others were accounted for. Similarly, real impact on health, economic as well as psychological, is difficult to assess. While there is a possibility of overestimating the damages on the part of respondents we strongly believe that these excesses would not be more if social costs were to be valued. Moreover, the losses due to permanent disability to the chief bread winner of a household are rather difficult to assess. In this regard, it is difficult to assess the problem in pure economic terms of valuation of losses. Hence, the solution to solving the problem lies not in compensating the loss but in removing the problem altogether. Here compensation means giving right to pollute. Looking at the health impact in the present case no amount of compensation would suffice to address the problem. Beyond compensation something has to be done in order to end the problems forever. This could be in terms of strict regulation on the industries to adopt pollution mitigating technologies or face closure. However, this calls for a close look at the economics of pollution mitigating technologies, which will be a worthy exercise. State policy also has a major role to play in this regard. In the present case the Sangareddy Pollution Control Board (local PCB), which is a regional office, is responsible for the area of Kazipalle and Bollarum industrial estates. The villagers have complained a number of times regarding the loss of crops, loss of cattle, and pollution of tank and tube well water. In response to these complaints, the officials visited the village and surveyed the area. They took various water samples for testing. According to the villagers, this has become a routine for PCB, and no action has been initiated against the industries. The member Secretary of APPCB has visited the village and promised to clean up the tank but nothing has happened so far. It is believed that there is a nexus between the officials and the industrialists and hence the matter is conveniently ignored. This nexus is further strengthened by the support of the politicians to the industrialists. The loopholes in the regulatory system assist this process. Bringing the judiciary into the picture also did not help much in solving the problem. Judiciary entered the scene after a public litigation suite, as the negotiations between polluters and victims during the year 1994–1995 with regard to compensation for damages have failed. The industries offered to pay a one-time compensation of Rs. 6750 ($135) per hectare for the damage to crops due to pollution. However, the villagers did not agree for this and collectively decided to file a case in the Supreme Court with the help of a Zilla Parishad (district level elected body) member who is an advocate and other NGOs. Supreme Court had, in fact, ordered that a report regarding the damage due to pollution should be submitted and also ordered that even one drop of effluent should not be discharged into the tank. The Supreme Court entrusted the district judge of Medak the responsibility of estimation of damage cost. The district judge has made one-time estimate of Rs. 3375 ($67.5) per hectare of agricultural land, leaving out other damages such as health and livestock. However, it is not clear how the estimates were arrived at. Our estimation shows that the damage to crop production itself is Rs. 10,660 ($213.2) per household per year. Therefore, the compensation offered in both the cases is a gross under-estimation of the actual losses. It is but natural that the community refused to accept it. On the contrary Supreme Court's compensation package was propitious to industries rather than to the rural community. For that reason, the compensation recommended by the judicial committee was half that of the amount offered by the industry on their own. Moreover, even after 3 years of the Supreme Court judgment, the compensation did not reach the people, though some of the neighboring villages have received the compensation. The Court order was that the money should be collected from the polluting industries and deposited in the account of district judge. The judge will distribute the money among the victims. Some villagers even approached the industries for the compensation, the industries denied saying that they have already given their money to the district judge. The villagers' visits to the judge have also gone in vain. As a result, the villagers continue to be the victims in the hands of the judiciary as well as the industries. This is a classic example of the failure of Pigouvian approach that talks about state intervention. The Coaseian approach (negotiation between two parties) would have worked with a better compensation package. However, the judiciary failed to play an effective role. Though the victims did not agree with the negotiated amount offered by the industries, the negotiation could have been made more effective and acceptable to all the parties with the help of a realistic estimate of the damages instead of going to the court. On the other hand, majority of the households, especially small and marginal farmers, have been compensated indirectly through employment opportunities in the industry. Since these farmers account for 90% of the households the attempts of civil society for better compensation were not effective. In terms of per household losses small and marginal farmers incur in the range of Rs. 5000–15,000 ($100–300), which is much less than that of the losses incurred by medium and large farmers. Moreover, these households are more concerned about their day-to-day livelihoods and hence they are not in a position to join the fight for justice. This indicates that homogeneity/heterogeneity in the interest or stakes in the resources makes/mars the collective action strategies. Here the heterogeneity of interests is mainly due to the availability of employment opportunities in the industry to majority of the population. Also, the large and medium farmers who are losing more due to pollution are in minority. Besides, their social status prevents them from taking up the jobs in the industry. Due to these reasons, the role of civil society is also not satisfactory in the present case. Protests in front of the state Secretariat in the form of both dharna (mass squatting) and rastha roko (blocking roads) only resulted in lathi (cane) charge and arrests of the villagers and NGOs. Neither industries nor PCB responded to the protests. People turned aggressive and attacked the industries. Since then the industries stopped discharging their effluent into the tank during daytime. Twice, the villagers caught the persons during nighttime while discharging the effluent into the tank and beat them up severely. After that incident the industries were closed for 3 to 4 days and started again as usual. Despite all these actions, the community did not succeed in influencing either industries or regulatory authorities. The movement could not sustain because a majority of the population have shifted to jobs in the industry leaving agriculture. Thus, the present case study provides an apt example of failure on all fronts, which is mainly due to the nexus between industries, policy makers and politicians coupled with diverse economic interests among the farm households. It is clear that mere passing of laws and creating institutional structures are necessary but not sufficient to address the environmental problems. Policies should be implemented in their right perspective. Institutions should be strong enough, with more autonomy and powers, to deal with the problems at hand.