|Description of Project Outputs
1. Highway upgrading and road safety improvements
2. Upgrading of rural roads
3. Cross border transport improvement and trade facilitation
4. Support for community-based sustainable tourism and environmental conservation
5. Institutional strengthening and capacity building
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Output 1: Highway upgrading and road safety improvements. This output comprises (i) upgrading 132 km of provincial highway S203 from Manzhouli to Alatanemole from class III to half-class-I standard; and (ii) improving safety on the provincial highway by introducing measures including road markings, signage, speed controlled junction design, barriers and underpasses for animals, designated parking, viewing points, and service areas. Three civil works contracts under advanced contracting MA-1, MA-8 and MA-9 started to construction since April 2014. The contracts for MA-2 to MA-7 were signed. On 27 July 2014, PCSS numbers for lots MA-3, MA-4, MA-5 and MA-7 were issued by ADB and PCSS numbers for the other two lots will be issued upon receiving the required performance securities. However, the mission was informed the domestic approval of land acquisition for S203 is still pending. The mission showed serious concern and urged the EA and IA to sort out the issue as soon as possible. (See para.28)
Output 2: Upgrading of rural roads. This output comprises upgrading (i) 61 km of a natural (unclassified) road from Xinboluke to Manzhouli to class III, (ii) 127 km of a sand and stone unclassified road from Nuogannuoer through Wubuerbaolige to Alantanhadagacha to class IV, (iii) 54 km of a sand and stone unclassified road connecting Baogedewula with Beiersumu to class IV, and (iv) 45 km of a natural unclassified road from Amugulang to Wubuerbaolige to class III. The contract was signed for upgrading the road from Xinboluke to Manzhouli on 15 June 2014. The construction has not started as the domestic approval of land acquisition is pending. The mission was advised that the procurement of other two roads will commence by December 2014.
Output 3: Cross-border transport improvement and trade facilitation. This output comprises (i) rehabilitation and upgrade of 82 km of the class III road from Alatanemole to Arihasate border-crossing point to class II, (ii) rehabilitation and upgrade of 22 km of the class III road from Amugulang to Ebuduge bordercrossing point to class II, (iii) construction of bus stops and terminals in Hulunbeier, and (iv) cross-border trade facilitation between the PRC and Mongolia. The mission was advised that the detailed design for the two roads and three bus stops and terminals were approved but all the domestic approval for land acquisition are pending. The mission was advised that the location of one of bus stops needs to be changed. The mission requested the PMO to submit a proposal with detailed information for the change by 31 August 2014. The PMO also confirmed that all required domestic approval for the change will be completed by 31 October 2014.
Output 4: Support for Community-Based Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Conservation. This output comprises (i) construction of rest areas and installation of signage and information boards along the S203 to reduce uncontrolled driving and parking in environmentally sensitive areas; (ii) development of an eco-cultural trail to enable tourists to experience grasslands, wetlands, and traditional lifestyle; and (iii) support for the Dalai Lake NNR Management Bureau, including constructing a multipurpose protection center; providing equipment for protection, research, and monitoring; and assisting with development of the 10-year master plan for habitat management, eco-tourism development, and habitat restoration.
It was highlighted that it was the intention that the specialist environmental conservation and ecotourism development support consulting services (Package CS.1) were procured in advance of any loan or TA activities so the Consultants could manage and support these activities. The Procurement Plan proposes QCBS for these services. The PAM states that a Firm should be recruited to provide the proposed 33 person months of services. ADB has previously provided recommendations of suitable firms and individuals for the proposed positions and following update of the TORs can provide the PMO with this information and support to procure these services, as needed. It is recommended that these services are procured before any further activities associated with Output 4 of the loan and TA are implemented.
Output 5: Institutional strengthening and capacity building. This output comprises (i) project management and implementation support to ensure compliance with ADB's policies and procedures; (ii) capacity building of the project executing agency and implementing agency in road safety, operation, and maintenance; and (iii) capacity building of Dalai Lake NNR Management Bureau staff to improve management of the nature reserve. The mission discussed with the EA and IA the arrangement of consultant recruitment and requested the EA and IA to immediately start the procurement of consulting service for supporting project management. The EA and IA confirmed that they will use domestic funds for external monitoring service and the recruitment of monitoring agencies will be completed by 30 September 2014.