Bank documentation states, "The Proposed Project Development Objective is to:
The Project will be comprised of four components:
The Bank has categorized this as a category 'A' project. Bank documentation states that, Category A project[s are] likely to have significant adverse environmental impacts that are sensitive, diverse, or unprecedented. These impacts may affect an area broader than the sites or facilities subject to physical works.
According to Bank documentation Uttar Pradesh is the country's most populous state with a population of nearly 200 million. One sixth of India's population lives in the 70 districts of UP. Many roads in UP have locally important cultural properties located along the edge of pavement. UP forms the bulk of the Gangetic plain in India and though it has very little forest cover, it has several protected areas, including bird and animal sanctuaries and national parks. Some locations in the state serve as freshwater wetlands, some not protected under law, but are important staging/nesting grounds for birds. Due to the nature of its categorization, the proposed project is likely to have a number of adverse environmental and social impacts, i.e. environmental pollution and economic as well as property displacement.
The Bank states that, Project specific Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy will be prepared based on World Bank Safeguard Policies and applicable GoI [Government of India] and State's Acts/Policies/Guidelines. Further, The ESMF shall include methodology and format for social/environment screening of each road;
corridor specific detailed Social Impact assessment (SIA); Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); development of action plans such as for Natural Habitats and Cultural Resources, wherever required; Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP);resettlement policy framework (RPF); consultation framework; framework for preparing indigenous peoples development plan (IPDP); framework for preparing gender action plan (GAP); monitoring indicators and evaluation process; and institutional arrangement for implementation of EMP and RAP.
APPLICABLE SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS:
The Bank recognizes that the proposed project will trigger the following safeguard policies:
Environmental Assessment OP/ BP 4.01
Bank documentation states, In addition to the ESMF, Environmental Management Plans will be prepared for the specific segments identified and included in the 30% of works that will be ready at appraisal. Available Bank documentation does not specify when Environmental Management Plans we be prepared for the remaining 70% of works that will not be ready at appraisal.
Natural Habitats OP/BP 4.04
The Bank states, Some roads in the core road network may pass through or close to natural habitats, whether these are located in protected areas or not such as wetlands.
Forests OP/BP 4.36
Bank documentation states that, In Uttar Pradesh, plantation on roadside trees and canal edges are designated as protected forests. While tree cutting for widening will be required, no commercial logging is going to be supported, if some of the project roads
pass through the Reserved Forests, then it may affect health of the forest patch.
Physical Cultural Resources OP/ BP 4.11
This policy is triggered because, according to Bank documentation, the project roads are dotted with local shrines, places of worship, and graves which can be of cultural value to local people. In addition, the possibility of chance-finds also exists since large quantities of earthwork are involved.
Indigenous Peoples OP/BP 4.10
At this stage of the investment the Indigenous Peoples safeguard policy has a 'TBD' or To Be Determined status. The Bank states, Since the roads are not known at this stage, social screening and assessment will be carried out for each identified road and based on screening results and assessment road specific IPDP will be prepared.
Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.12
This policy is triggered because, Bank documentation states, the project is likely to acquire private land leading to loss of income and/or sources of income. The project is likely to displace non-titleholders settled within the road's right of way.
Safety of Dams OP/BP 4.37
Similar to the Indigenous Peoples safeguard policy, the Safety of Dams policy is also To be Determined or 'TBD' at this stage. Bank documentation states, Some of the roads may be on canal edges and the proposed interventions may require some modifications to these. This will be determined during project preparation.
Environmental and Human Rights Risk Assessment
To the best of our knowledge, there are currently only two Bank documents available for this project: The Integrated Safeguards Data Sheet Concept Stage and the Project Information Document (PID) Concept Stage. This assessment is based on these early-stage project documents.
RIGHT TO CULTURE
As noted above, Bank documentation explicitly states the project roads are dotted with local shrines, places of worship, and graves which can be of cultural value to local people. In addition, the possibility of chance-finds also exists since large quantities of earthwork are involved.
The following questions may be relevant for local communities in determining whether the proposed project will infringe on their right to culture:
RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
According to Bank documentation, the proposed project is a Category A project and the Environmental Assessment OP/BP 4.01 safeguard policy is also triggered. Thus, there will likely be significantly adverse impacts not only at the construction sites, but also affecting environments and communities in Uttar Pradesh. Negative impacts that are often associated with Category A infrastructural projects include: change in topographic features of the area, i.e. water draining properties, increase in dust and air pollution, soil disturbance, increased traffic around construction sites, noise pollution, loss of biodiversity due to construction, etc.
The following questions may be relevant for local communities in determining whether the proposed project will infringe on their right to a healthy environment:
RIGHT TO HEALTH
The death totals due to automobile accidents in Uttar Pradesh are among the highest in the country and the world. Bank documentation states, India has the dubious distinction of leading the world in road accident fatalities. In 2012, there were more than 138,000 people killed on the roads, implying that about 378 lives are being lost every day in India due to road accidents. Uttar Pradesh together with Tamil Nadu has been the largest contributor to the total number of road crash deaths in the country (11.7 percent each), followed by Andhra Pradesh (10.8), Maharashtra (9.6) and Rajasthan (6.9). A total of 22,155 people were injured and 16,149 killed on UP roads in 2012, of which 73 percent died on national and state highways (less than 9 percent of the road network). Almost 50 percent of the people killed on UP roads belong to vulnerable groups of road users (pedestrians, bicyclists and two-wheelers).
While this project aims to improve the safety of roads in UP, constructing more roads while not implementing educational or safety measures may have the effect of perpetuating dangerous driving and increasing traffic-related hazards, accidents, and deaths in the state.
In addition to the dangers described above, there are also indirect adverse health impacts that may result from construction activities. Past Bank funded projects show that an influx of workers during the construction phase of a project creates new demands on the existing health care infrastructure and services, and also often finds that existing infrastructure and services are inadequate to meet the needs of people living in the project area. During project construction communities may experience the generation of vectors and vector borne diseases, spread of STD / HIV amongst the construction workers and within the community in the vicinity of construction activities etc.
This information is relevant to the proposed project. According to the Bank's project appraisal document (PAD) for the Uttar Pradesh Health Systems Strengthening Project, Infectious diseases are still a major problem in UP, immunization rates remain very low (only 30% children are fully immunized by 12 months of age), and polio continues to be endemic in parts of western UP. Of the 264 high focus districts identified by the central Ministry of Health, 46 are in UP. Health seeking is among the lowest in the nation in rural UP at 7.7% for acute illnesses (for India is 8.2%), though reported illnesses are higher than the average for India.
The following questions may be relevant for local communities in determining whether the proposed project will infringe on their right to health:
RIGHT TO WATER
Experience with other transportation sector projects shows that implementation of proper mitigation measures are often needed to avoid negative impacts to community water sources. If there is improper or inadequate project design and implementation, solid waste management programs, may invade state water systems thereby affecting the health and agricultural production of community members.
Given these considerations, the following survey questions related to the right to water should be raised by communities and individuals to be affected:
RIGHT TO HOUSING AND PROPERTY
Bank project documentation states that, The project is likely to acquire private land leading to loss of income and/or sources of income. The project is likely to displace non-titleholders settled within the road's right of way. As per the new Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, District Administration is additionally responsible for preparation and implementation of Resettlement and Rehabilitation Process. The
project however will support district administration in this process.
The following questions may be relevant to determining whether you or your community's right to housing and property will be adversely affected by the investment project:
The total project cost is US$570 million. The World Bank's International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing US$400 million in Investment Project Financing. According to World Bank documentation, Investment Project Financing "provides IBRD loan, IDA credit/grant and guarantee financing to governments for activities that create the physical/social infrastructure necessary to reduce poverty and create sustainable development."
Contact: Dr. Rajneesh Dube
Title: Principal Secretary
According to Bank documentation the project will ensure proactive disclosure and sharing of information with the key stakeholders, including the affected persons/communities and will have a communication strategy focusing on efficient and effective usage of print and electronic media, bill boards, posters, wall writing, and adoption of any other method suiting local contexts. Similarly, that Bank states An integrated Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) will be established for the project to address complaints using various mediums (e.g. a dedicated, toll free phone line, web based complaints, written complaints and open public days) and address them in a time bound manner.
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.