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Environment, Health and Pollution. Haripriya Gundimeda 2 nd Roundtable on Environmental Justice, Hotel Taj Taashi, Thimpu, 30 th – 31 st August 2013. Environmental quality. Deteriorating environmental quality Rising levels of air and water pollution

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Environment health and pollution

Environment, Health and Pollution

Haripriya Gundimeda

2nd Roundtable on Environmental Justice, Hotel Taj Taashi, Thimpu, 30th – 31st August 2013.

Environmental quality
Environmental quality

  • Deteriorating environmental quality

  • Rising levels of air and water pollution

  • Weak provision of sanitation services.

  • Huge impact on human health and morbidity

  • Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai rank among the top ten most polluted cities in the world,

Growth and environment
Growth and Environment

  • None of the rivers in India is meeting the desired quality standards.

  • In fact in some of the polluted rivers like Sabarmati, Tapi, Ganga and Godavari, the violation of standards was observed close to over 90 per cent of the sites monitored.

  • Since rivers are sink for agriculture run-offs and municipal waste also, the violation of standards cannot be entirely attributed to industrial pollution.

Growth and environment1
Growth and Environment

  • The data indicates that in many rivers say Ganga in UP, Yamuna in Delhi, Damodar, Subarnerakha, Betwa, Noyyal, Bhavani etc. industries contribute most to the water pollution.

  • Though industrial pollution may account for less than 25% of the pollution load in most of the rivers, the kind of effluent waste generated by industries makes the rivers highly toxic e.g. in Ganges, Yamuna etc).

A case study of health impacts near tanneries
A case study of health impacts near tanneries

  • Objective – To look at the impact of water quality on mortality and morbidity of the children under age 5

  • Study area - Nakal Keni area of Pallavaram and Chromepet township of Kanchipuram district in TN.

  • The area is highly polluted by tanneries and other industries and the Palar river water is contaminated.

  • Study focus – Carried out for two groups – one near the tanneries and bit further from the tanneries

  • Sample size – 450 households

Main observations
Main observations

  • Contaminated water quality added with lack of precautionary measures and lack of nutrition affects the child health.

  • This is especially prominent in areas near to the tanneries.

  • Income is not a significant factor in determining child’s health.

  • It is mainly the quality of drinking water/precautionary measures that affect the incidence of water related diseases.,

  • Some of the diseases like cold and cough can be reduced significantly by getting piped water in the residence.

  • In addition to the water quality lack of proper sanitation also adds to the incidence of water related diseases.

  • If estimated in economic terms, the burden can be very huge on the economy

Economics of water pollution control externality diagram
Economics of Water Pollution Control – Externality Diagram

Marginal Social Costs

Costs, Benefits

Marginal Private Costs






Quantity of effluent

Selection of policy instrument
Selection of Policy Instrument

Number of criteria -

  • Static Cost Efficiency

  • Dynamic Cost Efficiency

  • Goal Fulfillment

  • Administrative Costs

  • Barrier to Entry

  • Politics of Implementation