Economic Assessment of Environmental Damage: A Case Study of Industrial Water Pollution in Tiruppur
Project Team: Paul P. Appasamy with Prakash Nelliyat, N. Jayakumar and R. Manivasagan.
Time Period: 2002
Sponsored by: World Bank Aided capacity Building Project-Research Committee
Project Summary:
Rapid growth of industrial output and exports has taken place in certain sectors during the post-liberalisation period. In particular, the cotton textile and garment industries have grown due to availability of cheap labour and raw materials. The percentage share of textiles in total exports almost doubled from 17 % in 1981-82 to 31.6 % in 1998-99. However, the bleaching and dyeing units in the textile industry in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu have caused severe environmental pollution problems. While the government has passed different laws for controlling pollution, the major enforcement agency, the State Pollution Control Board (PCB) has not been able to implement the pollution control measures effectively, due to the large number of small units. The bleaching and dyeing units use a large quantum of water. Most of this water is discharged in the form of effluents into land and water, polluting the local environment. However, these industries provide substantial employment and income to the region and foreign exchange to the country. Considering these facts, an appropriate strategy is needed for balanced development. The study makes a preliminary attempt to use the principles of environmental economics to analyze the underlying issues.