The objective is to improve the reliability, capacity and security of the power distribution system in Assam.
The project aims to augment Assam’s electricity distribution system, comprising networks at 33Kilo-Volts (KV) level and below, by a) constructing new 33/11KV substations at important load centers, b) laying of new 33KV and 11KV overhead distribution lines, c) installation of new High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS) at select locations to improve reliability and to reduce the distribution losses, and d) introducing smart meters both at consumer end and at the distribution transformers. The project will consist of the following components:
The Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy (ESP), including the Environment and Social Standards (ESSs) and the Environmental and Social Exclusion List (ESEL) will apply to this project. ESS 1 (Environmental and Social Assessment and Management) will apply to assessment and mitigation of environmental and social (ES) risks and impacts. Applicability of ESS 2 (Involuntary Resettlement) and ESS 3 (Indigenous Peoples) will be assessed during implementation. The project has been categorized as Category B with a “Medium” ES risk rating.
As the project consists of sub-projects whose details are not yet identified and require a phased approach, the client has prepared and AIIB has reviewed an Environmental and Social Management Planning Framework (ESMPF) accompanied with model Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) for selected sub-projects, a generic Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP), and precautionary Resettlement Planning Framework (RPF) and Tribal People Development Framework (TPDF) in case ESS2 and ESS3 are triggered.
Based on the preliminary ES impact assessment under the ESMPF, the environmental, social, health and safety risks and impacts are localized, expected to be temporary, reversible in nature and can be managed and mitigated through implementation of ESMPF and the ESMP as well as ESIAs prepared for each one of subprojects which will be prepared based on good practices.
Consultations concerning the model ESIA and ESMPF have been conducted. This process of consultation will continue during project implementation, in accordance with national guidelines on restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The English version of the ESMPF, and Assamese executive summary of the ESMPF have been posted on the client’s and AIIB’s websites and hard copies made available in the project area. More ES information will be further disclosed in accordance with prepared ES Information Disclosure Plan of the ESMPF.
A multi-tier Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) at the project-level has been proposed by the ESMPF in accordance with the requirements of the Bank’s ESP. Locally appropriate public consultation and disclosure process will be used to disseminate information about the project-level GRM and the PPM. Communities and individuals who believe that they are adversely affected by the project will be able to submit complaints to the project-level GRM for their resolution. In addition to the above GRM for addressing complaints from the local community, commensurate mechanism will be made available at the contractor level for worker’s grievance.