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Economic Growth, Safe Drinking Water and Ground Water Storage: Examining Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) in Indian Context

von Hauff, Michael and Mistri, Avijit (2015): Economic Growth, Safe Drinking Water and Ground Water Storage: Examining Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) in Indian Context. Published in: Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeitrage, Nr. 38-14, Fachgebiete Volkswirtschaftslehre/Wirtschaftspolitik, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK), Germany, 2014 (2 December 2014): pp. 1-27.

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The trade-off between economic growth and environmental sustainability is very tough to a faster growing developing country like India. The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis proposes, environmental degradation increases with income growth first, and then it declines with income rise. The present study is an endeavor to find out the EKC relation in the arena of access to safe drinking water, ground water development and utilisation, and waterborne diseases during 2001-2012 in 32 Indian States/Union Territories (UTs). The panel analysis results reveal that no EKC relationship is found in the Indian context and income growth has no significant effect on all of the indicators. Income growth in lower income States/UTs immensely helps to improve the access to safe drinking water compared to the higher income States/UTs. Rapid expansion of irrigated agriculture and obsoleted regulation related to the abstraction overexploit the ground water. Moreover, lack of proper technological investment or abatement measures and its implication in Indian industry deteriorate the indicators of environmental quality. The contribution of technological input and its progress infer the poor design of environmental policies and its implementation in India. Apart from these, climatic and geomorphological heterogeneity widely influence the distribution and utilisation of water resources. The huge population pressure also exerts a negative effect on the environment.

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