The project will build a single 124km rail link between the cities of Angren and Pap. Project components include:
1) Rail Main Infrastructure construction, requiring ballast, rail, bridges, and a 19.2km tunnel;
2) Rail Electrification, Signaling, Track Maintenance and Railway video surveillance system that requires "a microprocessor based train control system with fiber optic-based communications-controlled from UTY's existing dispatching center in Tashkent," construction of "three traction substations" and a SCADA system for "optimizing energy use," a video surveillance system and "the broadcasting on any telecommunication channels to inform railway users," as well as track maintenance equipment consisting of "cranes, rods, emergency and security trucks, and other machinery and maintenance equipment;"
3) Power Distribution Line that requires dismantling of 8.8km of existing overhead power lines, construction works and commissioning of 68.8 km of new power lines, as well as equipment for the installation of new power lines, including "the procurement of concrete structures for 110-220kV power lines, respective
materials and communication equipment, protection relay, metering and controlling instruments, general power equipment and others;"
4) Technical Assistance to UTY for "railway construction and long-term plan" that will "provide UTY with options on how to better meet current and d future transportation needs, maintain its market share in freight and passenger transportation and increase efficiency of its operations during the period of 20-25 years;"
5) Technical Assistance to UTY for "improving railway logistics in the Perghana Valley and Angren region" that will "support UTY in introducing sound logistics arrangements to allow the Pap-Angren railway link to reach its full operational potential;"
6) Implementation support to provide implementation support to UTY and Uzbekistan.
Location(s): The rail starts in the city of Angren, located in Tashkent oblast and ends in the city of Pap, located in the Northwest of Fergana Valley. The rail path will begin on existing rail lines within the city of Angren with new lines starting in the coal mining area to the East of Angren. This northern section of railway will then run along the Akhangaran and through the proposed tunnel to the Sansalak-Sai river. The line then goes along the Gulistan, Altynkan and Cadak villages and through the ore mining territory of Almalyk and runs through 20km of agricultural land before ending in Pap.
Resources needed: Land acquisition. The project will lay 124 km of track, including a 19.2 km tunnel that requires 50.6 million m3 of earthworks, including 34.7 million m3 of drilling and blasting and 1.8 million m3 of excavated rock materials.
Risk Assessment: Category A.
The World Bank classifies proposed projects based on the type, location, sensitivity, and scale of the project and the nature and severity of its potential environmental impacts. Category A is assigned to a project only if it is likely to have "significant adverse environmental impacts that are sensitive, diverse, or unprecedented."
APPLICABLE SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS
The project triggers the following World Bank Safeguards:
Environmental Assessment OP/BP 4.01 triggered because adverse impacts due to project construction include: large-scale earthworks (including blasting), soil erosion, generation of noise, air, water, and soil pollution and generation of waste. Long-term impacts include pollution from railway, tunnel, and associated infrastructure operation and maintenance in addition to pollution due to emergencies and/or accidents on the railroad may cause spills of oil and oil products, chemicals, or other types of negative impacts. Adverse impacts on water quality include: an increase in silt loads at culverts and bridge sites; construction materials such as gravel, sand, and fill being washed out into local streams and rivers during rain; hydro-carbon leakage and/or spills at storage and mixing plant locations; and discharge of waste water and sewage from work camps to local streams and rivers. The rail will also displace a substantial amount of stream habitat hurting fish population and patterns, noting that impediment to fish passage in Akhangaran River and other fish-bearing streams is a major potential issue. Documents also noted that waste from surplus stock of materials at tunnel excavation, borrow pits, drilling and blasting works, construction facilities has significant risk to the environment. Hazardous geological processes have also been identified in 29 different sections along the rail that are prone to avalanches and landslides. In addition, the rail is a source of strong electromagnetic fields and requires management to not exceed acceptable radiation levels. Potential radioactive hazard in the area of the tunnel has been identified during project preparation at levels of 25 uR/hr with 30 uR/hr being the accepted exposure dose. Project implementation is expected to increase traffic flow. Annual cargo traffic is expected to reach 16.36 million tons.
Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.12 triggered because the project will require land acquisition and resettlement. Bank documents state that the scale of social impacts is significant due to resettlement. The project requires 985.2 hectares of both residential and agricultural land acquisition and resettlement. Bank estimates the project will affect approximately 270 households including farms plots and a few commercial entities. Average household size is 5 persons.
Physical Cultural Resources OP/BP 4.11 triggered because the line goes through the historic/cultural heritage site Settlement Chilhudzhra and received damages in fall 2013 that consisted of a 50m x 120m cut through the central section of the site that accounted for approximately 10% of the site.
Projects on International Waterways OP/BP 7.50 not triggered following discussions with UTY regarding (i) water abstraction from a tributary of an international waterway being planned and/or occurred, and (ii) pollution or other downstream impacts on a tributary of an international waterway due to river channelization/straightening associated with the project activities that confirmed no abstraction would take place as sources of water supply for the project are reported to come from existing wells, water tanks, and existing piped town water supply.
Forests OP/BP 4.36 Earlier Bank documents stated that this safeguard may be triggered because there are potential impacts on forested areas along the alignment. However, more recent documents state that this safeguard was not triggered as no impact to vegetation cover is expected from normal operation of the railway, the project construction will require large scale earthworks that reduce vegetation and soil degradation. Planned measures to minimize impact on vegetation cover includes selecting tracks that have minimal impact on natural vegetation communities, prohibiting vehicle and machinery passage on routes outside of the given plot, constructing sufficient culverts, providing regular cleaning of areas near the project area to prevent cluttering with construction and other waste, preventing emergency situations, reducing emissions, and managing fire planning. The Bank states that responsibility for vegetative reclamation works is under Giproleshoz, the State Institute of Forest Management.
Natural Habitats OP/BP 4.04 Similarly, earlier Bank documents stated that this safeguard may be triggered because the [d]raft EIA indicates potential impacts on a number of Red Book species and important natural habitats (though these areas do not have 'protected areas' status). However, more recent documents state that this is safeguard is not triggered.
OUR RISK ASSESSMENT
Right to a Healthy Environment
Adverse environmental impacts include construction activities as well as long-term pollution from railway operation. Large-scale earthworks dramatically alter the landscape while community water sources may become contaminated. Electromagnetic radiation sources due to the construction and operation of the rail is far enough from residential areas to not cause immediate concern, many strict mitigation of radiation sources is required to minimize the negative impact to human health and the environment. Railway construction and operation also creates increased risk of avalanches and landslides that may harm communities. Other potential emergency situations include those from hazardous materials, oil spills, and work-site accidents with emergency planning as a responsibility of UTY. The Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA) was prepared by the Design institute Boshtransloiha and was updated after recommendations from the State Expert Review and the World Bank. Al Mar Consulting LLC, a private consulting company, was hired to prepare the Environmental Management Framework (EMF) and the Government of Uzbekistan and the World Bank approved the advanced draft. Further, site-specific EIAs and EMPs are being and will be prepared by the contractors for specific sections of the alignment that will be disclosed at specific project locations. Construction site visits by environmental specialists indicated no significant/irreversible impacts but did identify some needed improvements. An Environmental Audit of works carried out previously is being undertaken to review progress in these areas and provide specific recommendations for remedial measures in an Environmental Action Plan. UTY hired external experts to help monitor environmental performance of the contractors.
Right to Property and Adequate Housing
as noted above, the World Bank estimates that the project will displace approximately 270 households including farms plots and a few commercial entities with the average household consisting of 5 persons. The Resettlement Policy Framework was made by UTY and finalized by the Bank. A Resettlement Action Plan was made for areas where the design of the railway line and structures is sufficiently advanced. However, UTY carried out land acquisition and land resettlement prior to the completion of the RAP on August 29, 2014. A resettlement audit was carried out to identify retroactive compensation. World Bank safeguard policies on compensation will override where discrepancies exist with national legislation. Currently, gaps have been identified between the resettlement implemented to date and the requirements of OP 4.12.
Proper management of the potential radioactive hazard from electromagnetic radiation is necessary for the safety of railway workers. This includes managing radiation due to electrical installations of temporary power supply system, cables and wires, some technological operations (Welding, electrical heating up of concrete, etc.), mobile communication equipment, and power transmission for operating railroad. Special attention must be paid to the radioactivity of workers' equipment as well as the tunnel area which has potentially higher levels of radioactivity. Further, active supervision of the large-scale earthworks construction and embankment stabilization is required to ensure workers' safety.
Right to Health
Potential construction effects may degrade the quality of air and water for communities. Long term operational risks include potential for hazardous materials, oil spills, and work-site accidents. There is additional concern for the management of radiation levels.
Right to Food
A significant section of the railway disrupts agricultural lands. Agricultural land acquisition is required and will displace farms and commercial entities. These measures could impact food supply. Also, potential spills of oil and oil products, chemicals, or other types of negative impacts could harm sources of food. Rail and access roads will also displace a substantial amount of stream habitat, and impede fish passage, causing irreversible negative impact to fish-bearing water bodies.
Right to Water
The EIA states the potential for loss in water quality of local streams and rivers due to construction pollution, leakages and spills, and work camp wastewater discharge. Projects on International Waterways OP/BP 7.50 was not triggered and UTY formally confirmed that no abstraction of water from the Akhangaran and Chadak Rivers (tributaries of Syrdarya River that has a status of international waterway) is planned or necessary because water supply is reported to come from existing wells, water tanks, and existing piped town water supply. Therefore, the diversion these waters may impact the town water supply. Further, the Bank states that the team will work closely with the Client to monitor and supervise the issue of the potential channelization/straightening activities required for the project, implying that the channelization requires attention. Also, as with food, potential spills of oil and oil products, chemicals, or other types of negative impacts could harm the water supply in the future.
Right to Livelihood
The EIA states that the majority of people affected by the project are employed by the nearby factory, ore mining, and textile facilities. Resettlement from their current homes may disrupt life patterns and practices. Also significant is the loss of farms, fishing sources, and commercial entities that contributed to community life. Documents state that UTY is conducting a socio-economic study to understand impacts on the project affected people and broader social impacts of the project, particularly on women and the most vulnerable. Noise, air pollution, and waste generation during the construction processes may also impact daily life.
Right to Culture
The historic and cultural site Settlement Chilhudzhra received 10% of damages in 2013 even though the site was identified in 2012 and was registered in the National Registry of Historic Monuments. The Bank then stopped works and required the preparation of the Action Plan for Physical Cultural Resources that was prepared by the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Science and agreed upon by authorities responsible for protection of historic and cultural heritage. Uzbekistan law requires an archaeological specials survey of the Chilhudzhra site. However, it was not noted whether public consultations were held concerning the existing damage nor whether public consultations were held on the Action Plan that will have the impact of determining future decisions taken on other cultural sites.
Amount of bank loan or investment: $195.00 USD Million
Total project cost: $1633.75 USD million. The China Export Import Bank is expected to loan $350.00 USD million and UTY will contribute $1164.13 USD million through its own funds and the State budget.
Contact: Jacques Bure
Title: Lead Transport Specialist
Name: Ministry of Finance
Contact: Rustam Azimov
Name: Uzbekistan Temir Yo'allari
Contact: Achilbay Ramatov
World Bank documents state that an advanced draft of the EMF was publicly disclosed and "consulted upon with interested stakeholders."
The site-specific EIAs and EMPSs under preparation will be "disclosed at specific project locations and public consultations organized (for sites in the proximity of the villages) prior to works start." 18 agencies/institutes/organizations contributed to the EIA.
"Authorities responsible for the protection of historical and cultural heritage" "consulted upon/agreed with" the Action Plan for Physical Cultural Resources.
"The [Resettlement Policy Framework and Resettlement Action Plan] were disclosed and consulted upon with the project affected people, local administration, local makhalla representatives and community associations on September 14-15, 2014."
"Public meetings and consultations with the affected households were conducted" on September 15-16 at which "the main principles and provisions of the resettlement policy in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the WB OP 4.12 were presented and the complaint mechanism was explained in detail." Participants included "representatives of relevant state organizations, khokimiyats, makhalla committees, cadastral service and other local authorities, and also the persons, affected by the project implementation" and all participations were provided with "handouts and brochures in Russian and Uzbek languages with details of the issues raised during the consultations."
The grievance mechanism was developed based on previous mechanisms for similar projects and "provides for the appeal of any actions and decisions violating the rights and freedoms of citizens affected by the project." The process proceeds as follows: complaints may be submitted to the chairman of makhalla (governing organization at the community level) committee or to the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), who is the responsible person for resettlement issues, who will register and try to resolve the complaint. Complaints unresolved within one week go to the national/regional level where initiative groups of representatives of farms and households take part in considering resettlement issues. Makhalla committees and PIU create journals for complaints registration which PIU representatives are obliged to look through and must be considered within 21 working days. All possible measures for a solution will be taken in rational khokimiyat (public authority body) within the powers of the rational khokim (governor) where the complaint is transferred to the commission on consideration of issues of provision of the land plots if a solution is not found within two weeks. The authorized person of the commission receiving the complaint then registers it and tries to find the solution. If no decision is reached within two weeks, the complaint is brought to the Supreme court of the Republic of Uzbekistan and is resolved according to national legislation while taking into account the agreements between the government and the Bank where state law will prevail so long as it is aligned with World Bank policy.
ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF WORLD BANK
The World Bank Inspection Panel is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by a World Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Inspection Panel, they may investigate to assess whether the World Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can contact the Inspection Panel or submit a complaint by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the Inspection Panel and how to file a complaint at: http://ewebapps.worldbank.org/apps/ip/Pages/Home.aspx.