India: West Bengal Electricity Distribution Grid Modernization Project (AIIB-000454)

  • South Asia
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
  • India
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Specific Location
West Bengal
Whenever identified, the area within countries where the impacts of the investment may be experienced. Exact locations of projects may not be identified fully or at all in project documents. Please review updated project documents and community-led assessments.
Financial Institutions
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
  • World Bank (WB)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
Republic of India
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
  • Energy
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Investment Type(s)
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, guarantee, technical assistance, advisory services, equity and fund.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 135.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Loan Amount (USD)
$ 135.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Project Cost (USD)
$ 385.70 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ AIIB website

Updated in EWS Feb 9, 2022

Disclosed by Bank Mar 1, 2021

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Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

According to the bank documents, the objective of this project is to improve the operational efficiency and reliability of electricity supply in 14 districts of West Bengal.The project aims to modernize West Bengal's electricity distribution system by providing financial and technical support for investments in:

(i) High voltage distribution system, aerial bunched cabling, 33/11 kilovolt gas-insulated substations, and underground cables

(ii) Smart consumer meters, deployment of distribution automation technologies, and improving the existing commercial and enterprise information technology solutions

(ii) Technical assistance for institutional development and capacity building

The project will be co-financed with the World Bank, as the lead co-financier.


 To ensure a harmonized approach to addressing environmental and social aspects of the project, as permitted by AIIB's Environmental and Social Policy (ESP), the World Bank's new Environment and Social Framework (ESF) and Grievance Redress Service, will apply to the project in lieu of AIIB's ESP. AIIB has reviewed the World Bank's ESF and is satisfied that (i) the World Bank's ESF is consistent with AIIB's Articles of Agreement and materially consistent with the provisions of AIIB's ESP and the relevant ES Standards; and (ii) the monitoring and reporting procedures that are in place are appropriate for the project.

World Bank has rated both the environmental and social risk as "Moderate" which is equivalent to Category B as per AIIB's ESP.

Accordingly, the World Bank has adopted a Framework approach, and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) has prepared an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) which is being reviewed by World Bank internally. WBSEDCL has also prepared a Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF), a Tribal Peoples Policy Framework (TPPF), a Gender Development Policy (GDP), and a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) to guide and avoid/minimize adverse impacts.

Based on the ESMF, Environment and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) studies for ten districts (out of fourteen) have been prepared. The project districts are spread across the entire geography of West Bengal and therefore there will be varying geographical contexts ranging from coastal areas to flood plains, from forest lands (having tribal populations) to foothill areas. Appropriate measures will be taken to address the contextual issues pertaining to biodiversity, tribal peoples, and forest areas. The commitment for the preparation of these Mitigation Plans will be included in the Environmental and Social Commitment Plan (ESCP).

World Bank has triggered the ESSs in two categories: a) General Assessment and b) Specific Risks and Impacts. Under the General Assessment category, World Bank has triggered ESS 1 (Environmental and Social Assessment and Management) and ESS 10 (Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure). Under the Specific Risks and Impacts category, World Bank has triggered ESS 2 (Labour and Working Conditions), ESS 3 (Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention and Management), ESS 4 (Community Health and Safety), ESS 5 (Land Acquisition, Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement), ESS 6 (Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources), ESS 7 (Indigenous Peoples/Sub-Saharan African Historically Underserved Traditional Local Communities), and ESS 8 (Cultural Heritage).

The project will have a Grievance Redress Mechanism to address the concerns of the affected people.

People Affected By This Project
People Affected By This Project refers to the communities of people likely to be affected positively or negatively by a project.

According to the bank's assessment, the potential ES impacts are mostly associated with construction and related activities such as site selection, construction, and operation of substations, as well as installation of underground cables and they, are temporary in nature, localized, and reversible in nature.The social issues have been assessed to be minimal as the project requires small quantities of land, and these are mostly being arranged through government lands with no or minimal informal settler issues, using the flexibility options in the site location.

Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.

Contact Information
This section aims to support the local communities and local CSO to get to know which stakeholders are involved in a project with their roles and responsibilities. If available, there may be a complaint office for the respective bank which operates independently to receive and determine violations in policy and practice. Independent Accountability Mechanisms receive and respond to complaints. Most Independent Accountability Mechanisms offer two functions for addressing complaints: dispute resolution and compliance review.


Pratyush Mishra

Investment Operations Specialist



Prasanna V Salian

Deputy Secretary
Department of Economic Affairs Ministry of Finance



Santanu Basu

Chairman and Managing Director
West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited



You can submit an information request for project information at:


The AIIB has established the Accountability Mechanism for Project-Affected People (PPM). The PPM provides Òan opportunity for an independent and impartial review of submissions from Project-affected people who believe they have been or are likely to be adversely affected by AIIBÕs failure to implement the ESP in situations when their concerns cannot be addressed satisfactorily through Project level GRMs or AIIB Management processes.Two or more project-affected people can file a complaint. Under the current AIIB policy, when the bank co-finances a project with another development bank, it may apply the other bank's standards. You can refer to the Project Summary Information document to find out which standards apply. You can learn more about the PPM and how to file a complaint at:

The complaint submission form can be accessed in Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Bengali, Chinese, English, Tagalog, Hindi, Nepali, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu. The submission form can be found at:

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How it works