In accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement 2009, and the Environment Assessment and Review Framework for the MFF, tranche 2 is categorized as B for environmental impacts. Given that no construction work has started yet in the Tongi Bhairab Bazar Double Track project, for which the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) report was prepared during the processing of tranche 1, due diligence on environment safeguards mainly focused on fulfillment of planning and pre-construction requirements. The updated EMP including mitigation costs has been included in the bidding documents. Monitoring checklists for monitoring EMP implementation during construction has been prepared by the supervision consultant. A renewed environmental clearance valid until June 2012 has been obtained from the Department of Environment for the Tongi Bhairab Bazar Double Track project.
Activities under subproject 2 is limited to improving the signaling system with minimal physical construction, hence it is categorized as C for environmental impact. Subproject 3 involves rehabilitation of yards and extension of loops requiring generation construction wastes hence it has been categorized as B . Accordingly an environmental review report for subproject 2 and an IEE for subproject 3 have been prepared.
Considering that the projects do not fall in any protected areas or other environmentally sensitive areas and there are minimal physical construction activities, there are no long term significant environmental impacts anticipated from the project.
Tranche 2 is categorized as A for resettlement impacts due to the resettlement impacts from the Tongi Bhairab Bazar Double Track project, which is partially funded under tranche 2. The RP for this project has been prepared and approved by ADB under tranche 1. The RP has been updated due to the land price escalation and further approved by ADB and uploaded to the ADB website, According to the census, 14,512 persons will be affected by the project, out of which 509 households will have impact on residential structures. 1,099 households will have impact on commercial structures. These are mainly squatters. 348 households would lose narrow strips of agricultural land. The total land acquisition and resettlement budget for the subproject is Tk1,545 million.
Details of compensation rates for the loss of land and structures, shifting assistance, income restoration assistance, and additional support provisions for the vulnerable groups are provided in the resettlement framework and also in the RP. Meaningful consultation and information disclosure during the preparation of RP with the project displaced persons including land acquisition and compensation process and to general public through the ADB website were undertaken. If during implementation any modification or additional land requirement or involuntary resettlement impacts are identified, a related RP will be prepared or modified in accordance with the applicable laws referred to in the RP, and prior approval of the ADB will be obtained before any further implementation of the relevant section of the subproject.
No land acquisition or resettlement is required for subprojects 2 and 3, therefore due diligence reports have been prepared and were submitted together with the PFR.
|During Project Design
In the course of social assessment of the project influence area, a series of participatory consultations were held with program stakeholders and beneficiaries in various socioeconomic groups. Focus group discussions were organized at various locations with randomly selected groups of men, women, and indigenous people residing in the project areas. Sessions exclusively for women were also held. Informants articulated the perceived benefits from the railway improvement program. They were positive about the need for the program especially for improved accessibility for the villagers as well as better amenities reaching the households in the project influence area.
Bangladesh Railway will organize further consultations with the project stakeholders and beneficiaries to apprise them of economic development in the program states. The perceptions and priorities of the people will be taken into consideration when finalizing the project design and preparing mitigation measures to address any risks.