This paper attempts to estimate the maintenance cost of water pollution abatement measures to the Indian industry using the methodology of distance function in the theory of production. The distance function is estimated using both programming and stochastic frontier models for a sample of water polluting industries in India. The firm-specific shadow prices for pollutants, measures of efficiency, and scale economies are estimated. Estimates show that on average the cost to the Indian industry for reducing one ton of BOD and COD are respectively, Rs 0.246 and 0.077 million. Large differences in the estimates of firm-specific shadow prices of pollutants reflect the use of inefficient water pollution abatement technologies. The relationships between firm-specific shadow prices or marginal costs of abatement of BOD and COD and the index of compliance (ratio of effluent load to sale value) and the pollution load reductions obtained confirm the earlier empirical results of studies on water pollution abatement in Indian industries. The earlier studies have found increasing marginal costs with respect to reductions in pollution concentrations and decreasing marginal cost with respect to the pollution loads reduced by the firms.
Maddipati Narsimha Murty and Kumar, S., “Measuring the cost of environmentally sustainable industrial development in India: a distance function approach”, Environment and Development Economics, vol. 7, pp. 467–486, 2002.