The Project widens two sections of paved highways. Based on the requirements of the ADB's Environment Policy (2002), the Project has been classified as environmental category B (sensitive) because the alignment along Highway 12 (the Phitsanulok-Lom Sak section) traverses the Thung Salaeng Luang National Park and several sensitive watershed designations. The highway was constructed in 1960, while the national park was declared as such in 1975. The proposed highway expansion is restricted to areas within the existing 60-meter ROW of Highway 12. The park designation does not extend inside the ROW pursuant to the Royal Decree for Separation of Highway Right-of-Way from Thung Salaeng Luang National Park. Further, all portions of the ROW that encompass sensitive watersheds or are adjacent to the national park have been previously disturbed or developed through activities such as logging, agriculture, or roadway and commercial construction. As such, these areas are in a degraded condition with respect to ecological resources. The adjacent portions of the national park have also been previously degraded through similar activities, as noted for the ROW. Native habitats generally are absent within 50-60 meters of the ROW, and the most sensitive (core) habitat areas of the park are about 2 km or more south of the alignment. No protected areas, such as national parks, designated forests, or sensitive watersheds, are within or adjacent to Highway 359 (the Phanom Sarakham-Sa Kaeo section). The section is in an area of generally level terrain and is predominantly agricultural.
The predicted environmental impacts during construction include air pollution, mainly from dust emissions; noise and vibration; water pollution from fuel spills and improper waste disposal; soil erosion and siltation of water courses because of earthworks and extraction of borrow materials; and habitat loss from vegetation clearing. The Project is expected to improve the ecological condition within the ROW of the two highway sections. The Project includes extensive tree replanting (utilizing native species), landscaping, erosion control, slope stabilization, and water quality control. Wildlife crossings also are provided for road sections along Highway 12. These are either project design or mitigation measures, and include applicable monitoring programs to ensure proper function and identify necessary remedial measures. Impacts during the operations phase are expected to be limited mainly to air and noise pollution from vehicles. The proposed project design includes a number of monitoring efforts to identify site-specific locations where regulatory standards cannot be met. In those cases, additional mitigation measures are implemented, as appropriate.
An EMP has been prepared detailing mitigation and monitoring requirements, associated implementation responsibilities, schedules, preliminary costs, reporting frequency, and capacity building or training requirements. Timely and proper implementation of mitigation measures defined in the EMP will help ensure that the Project will not significantly harm the environment.
||The highway right-of-ways (ROWs) has been acquired, and it was established and demarcated as early as the 1950s (Highway 12) and 2000 (Highway 359). The entire ROW of highways 12 and 359 are cleared of all obstructions. The census and detailed measurement surveys carried out in October and November 2008 in Highway 359 identified about 261 households. An additional 92 households were found during the census and detailed measurement survey in March 2009 in Highway 12. These households had stalls and/or shelters and tilling paddy land inside the ROW. The resettlement plan prepared for the Project was formulated in a way that recognizes that, while the ROWs of the two highways have been acquired, the affected people's livelihood can continue with minimal disruption and that their socioeconomic conditions are maintained, if not improved. The DOH assists by coordinating with the resettlement coordinating committee and Tambon Administration Office to find replacement land for stalls and shelters in a way that will allow for the gradual transfer of business operation to the new site, thereby avoiding any business disruption. Poor and vulnerable households are given priority in choosing stalls in the new sites. Consultation meetings were carried out during preparation of the resettlement plan, and key information was disclosed to the affected people before ADB appraisal. Implementation arrangements have been designed following a participatory approach, while a grievance mechanism and monitoring have been established to ensure compliance with the resettlement plan from updating to implementation.
|During Project Implementation
During project construction, consultation will continue during updating and implementation of the resettlement plan. A series of consultations with affected people will be held during the detailed measurement survey.
To minimize the risk of the highways dividing local communities by disrupting existing local road communications, the Department of Highways has already discussed with local communities construction of highway-crossing facilities including underpasses and overpasses. The need for and location of these facilities were confirmed during the detailed engineering design. Planning for community infrastructure was through local committees; membership of these committees will consist of representatives of the District Highway Office, project consultants, and representatives of the local communities. Local communities were consulted to determine the maximum distance between facilities to cross the highways - by either overpasses or underpasses - to avoid the disruption of livelihood and social networks and the existing local road system. Community consultations are facilitated by the construction supervision consultant's team.