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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Ambient Air Pollution and Respiratory Illness: A Study in Opencast Coal Mining Region of Odisha

Authors: Indrani Roy Chowdhury, Anusree Paul, Tapaswini Nayak

Published in: Sustainable Development Insights from India

Publisher: Springer Singapore

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Abstract

Coal is the cheapest source of energy, so the economic importance of coal is critical for an emerging economy like India. Although the benefit of coal is enjoyed by the entire nation, the environmental externalities and adverse health impacts are highly confined to the mining neighbourhood only. Moreover, mining regions in India are mostly located in the vast tracts of remote forests and inhabited by marginalized tribal people.
In this study, we examine whether the high concentration of ambient air pollution in the largest coal mining (open cast) region of Odisha triggers the vulnerabilities of respiratory illness (RI) among the people living in the proximity of the mining region. We also examine the socio-economic determinants of mitigating expenditure on RI undertaken by the people in the vicinity of the mining region. The study is based on a longitudinal primary survey in the Mahanadi Coal field (MCL) area of Angul–Talcher open cast coal mining region of Odisha.
Our results suggest that the probability of self-reported RI episodes is negatively affected by the distance to mine and is positively affected by the treatment dummy, when we control for village fixed effects, seasonality and a bunch of socio-economic, health and demographic determinants. The statistical significance of these two predictor variables (which serve as proxy for the concentration of ambient air pollution) confirms our hypothesis. Further, RI-related health expenditure incurred is significantly determined by the incidence (or severity) of RI, proximity to healthcare facilities overall health status. These findings provide some insights to adverse health externalities in the open cast mining region and demands the policy attention to look beyond the obvious positive economic impacts of mining.
Footnotes
1
According to India’s National Electricity Plan (2018), a massive coal-based electricity generation capacity is planned during 2017–2022.
 
3
Authors’ collection from CPCB, Odisha.
 
4
Besides, a small part of the coalfield in the west lies in Sambalpur district and in the north lies in Deogarh district, whereas another small part lying to the east of the Brahmani River falls in Dhenkanal district.
 
5
Household per capita income categories: Rs (300–1333 = 1, 1375 -2000 = 2, 2200–3000 = 3, 3333–5000 = 4 and 5333–50,000 = 5).
 
6
1 = 0–5 years (primary); 2 = 6-10 years (secondary); 3 = 11-12 years (higher secondary); 4 = 13-18 years (graduation and above).
 
7
The correlation between RI incidence and RI severity have come out 0.83 for treatment group and 0.77 for control group.
 
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Metadata
Title
Ambient Air Pollution and Respiratory Illness: A Study in Opencast Coal Mining Region of Odisha
Authors
Indrani Roy Chowdhury
Anusree Paul
Tapaswini Nayak
Copyright Year
2021
Publisher
Springer Singapore
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-33-4830-1_14

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