According to World Bank documents, the objective of the proposed investment is to "develop efficient and resilient trade and transport along selected corridors in Nepal".
The Government of Nepal is preparing the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Multi-phase Programmatic Approach (MPA) Regional Transport and Trade Facilitation Program for World Bank financing, which is to be implemented in phases. The BBIN Nepal Phase 1 Project (the Project) is the first phase of the Program to support The main objective of the Project is to develop efficient and resilient trade and transport along selected regional corridors in the BBIN countries. The Project has three components:
• Component 1: Digital Systems for trade. This component may support the adoption and Implementation of Digital and Automated Systems for improvement of Nepal’s cross-border clearances: (a) Development of electronic Automated Border Management including electronic cargo tracking system, (b) Business Intelligence and Data Analytics Package and Risk Engine (c) Development of web-based supply MIS for automation of registration processes and permits.
Component 2: Green and Resilient Transport and Trade Infrastructure. This component will support (a)Upgrading of Butwal-Gorusinghe Road section and Gorusinghe-Chanauta Road section of East-West Highway from 2 to 4 lanes, (b) Construction of a green resilient urban bridge (including detailed design/urban design and construction), and (c) Support for development and implementation of green resilient highway concept, integrating transportation functionality and ecological sustainability.
Component 3: This component will provide support in streamlining the policy environment for regional trade and cross-border movement of goods through (a) Bangladesh-India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement related reforms, (b) Customs reforms, (c) Private sector support initiatives, (d) Capacity Strengthening, and (e) Project preparation studies.
Component 4: Contingency Emergency Response will support unforeseen emergency needs. In case of a major natural or human made disaster, GoN may request the Bank to re-allocate project funds to this component to support its quick response and reconstruction.
The project will finance the first 70 km (Butwal – Gorusinghe-Chanauta) of a phased construction of the 438 km western section (Butwal to Gaddachowki) of the East-West Highway, a key corridor for Nepal’s connectivity and trade with India and other countries. This road section is 50 km in length and located in the Terai region of Lumbini province. Butwal - Gorusinghe Road Section of the East-West Highway starts from the Tinau Bridge at Butwal of Rupandehi district and passes through Butwal sub-metro-Politian city, Sinamaina Municipality, Kanchan Rural Municipality, Banganga Municipality and Buddhabhumi Municipality and ends at Gorusinghe of Kapilbastu district. Themajor settlements along the road include, Batauli bazar, MainaBagar,Nayagaun, Belbas, Nayabasti, Bankatahawa, Murgiya, Rampur. Basgadi, Saljhandi, Fireland, Pipra, Badgaun, Jitpur and Gorusinghe Bazar. The project area lies between 27°42’14.80”N Latitude and 83° 27’36.87”E Longitude at Butwal to 27°39’18.85”N Latitude and 83° 0’2.79”E longitude at Gorusinghe.
ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIAL RISKS
The environmental and social risks and impacts are rated Substantial. The upgrading works on the BGC road section, and green, resilient urban bridge construction will have the following environmental impacts: (i) degradation of the remaining forests resulting from tree clearance within the RoW; (ii) increase in road kills and traffic congestion; (iii) increase in air and noise pollution; (iv) degradation of river ecosystems from quarrying and bridge construction; and (v) potential increase in wildlife poaching. Based on the Environmental and Social
Impact Assessment (ESIA), BG road will require the clearing of 28 hectares of forest areas within the RoW, which are dominated by community forests that are already disturbed and degraded. A critical habitat assessment carried out as part of the BG Road ESIA revealed three faunal species that qualify as critical habitats. However, it was assessed that these species are not common in the project area and the impacts are expected to be low. Mitigation measures, such as appropriate fencing and safe underpass crossing, are included in the ESMP. The potential social impacts along the BG Road RoW are largely economic displacement, involving patches of agricultural land, pedestrian sheds, movable table-top businesses (e.g., fruit and vegetable vendors, tea shops), and religious structures. The detailed design and location of the green resilient urban bridge have not yet been determined, thus there is only limited information available to determine the scale and impact of land acquisition and resettlement related to those investments. However, the construction of such infrastructure would occasion additional land-take and displacement that DoR and relevant municipalities have assessed, costed and are willing to manage. Other social concerns include: (i) concerns on workers and community health and safety during construction and operation; (ii) labor influx in local environments with its impacts on SEA/SH; and (iii) potential exposure of workers and communities to communicable diseases such as COVID-19.
Jan Erik Nora,
Senior Operations Officer
Email ID: email@example.com
Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Narayan Regmi
Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ram Hari Pokharel
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