India: Kochi Metro Rail Project - Phase II


Category A


USD122.3 million


November 7, 2023
February 29, 2024


To improve urban mobility on the Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) Stadium – Infopark corridor via Kakkanad in Kochi.


The project will support the implementation of Phase II of Kochi Metro Rail that will include the construction of an elevated, electrified metro rail system of 11.2 km and 11 stations along the JLN Stadium – Smart City corridor. It will finance (i) the design and build of a viaduct structure, stations, and tracks; and (ii) the procurement and installation of systems, including signaling, telecommunications, auxiliary main substation, traction and power supply facilities.


E&S Policy (including Standards) and Categorization. AIIB’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. ESS1 (Environmental and Social Assessment and Management) and ESS2 (Involuntary Resettlement) are applicable. In addition, the project activities are mainly within urban areas where no ethnic minority groups are collectively attached, therefore, ESS3 (Indigenous Peoples) is not triggered. The project has been categorized as Category “A” based on the potential environmental and social (E&S) impacts due to civil works in a densely urbanized environment, land acquisition, occupational health, and safety (OHS), vehicular traffic, pollution, dust, noise, and vibration.

Instruments. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), together with an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), and four social impact assessments (SIAs)/resettlement plans (RPs) were prepared by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) to meet international lender’s requirements. These documents adequately address the project risks and impacts, consultations, and management approaches, albeit with minor gaps. To meet AIIB ESP, (i) an Environmental Due Diligence Report (EDDR), covering the Climate Risk Assessment, Noise and Vibration (N&V) Assessment, institutional arrangements, and mitigation plans, and (ii) a Social Due Diligence Report (SDDR) were also prepared.

Environmental Aspects. The project is anticipated to yield environmental benefits, notably reducing air pollution from traffic congestion. There is no forest area or notified eco-sensitive zone within 500 m of the proposed right-of-way (ROW). No wildlife habitat or notified eco-sensitive zone under Wildlife Act of 1972 is present within the 10 km radius area of proposed ROW, except for the Managlavanam Bird Sanctuary, which is present at 3 km from the JLN Station. The project activities are assessed to have no adverse risks and impacts on the Sanctuary, as it is already surrounded by extensive urban activity and the construction or operation stages of the project will not lead to no additional negative impact. During the construction phase, other negative impacts of the project will be temporary and reversible, including air pollution, N&V and the disposal of construction residues, which will be addressed as per the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP). During the operational stage, N&V impacts are assessed to be within the guidelines, however a set of measures to mitigate and minimize them was proposed, integrated into the designs, considered in the financing plan, and provision in ESMP will be made to ensure that this aspect is closely monitored during implementation and the operation stage. A traffic management plan has already been developed.

Social Aspects. The project's design predominantly aligns with existing road medians to minimize the acquisition of private and public lands. However, acquisitions will be needed for station entry/exit points, and viaducts at certain locations, which are already well advanced. The land acquisition is being carried out in four stages for a total area of 4.05 Ha, which is linearly distributed across the 11.2 km length in multiple parcels. SDDR concluded that the process was well publicized, and the project affected people (PAPs) as well as communities are well aware of the project, entitlements and grievance channels. In addition, the due diligence identified 16 action points regarding social aspects, including requesting the Government for indexation of rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) compensation, gender, labor and working conditions, livelihoods, ongoing monitoring and supervision, and an action plan was agreed. A Livelihoods Support Plan is included in SDDR, which will be further enhanced based on the additional needs identified during project implementation.

Stakeholder Engagement, Consultation, and Information Disclosure. The statutory process of SIA requires extensive consultation at various levels, including mandatory public consultations. During EIA, SIAs/RPs, EDDR, and SDDR preparation, KMRL/the Government of Kerala (GOK) consulted potential PAPs. EIA, the four SIAs/RPs, EDDR and SDDR are disclosed in English (with summaries in Malayalam) on KMRL’s website (at link1 and link2) and AIIB’s website.

Community, OHS, Labor and Employment Conditions. KMRL will stipulate and monitor adequate health and safety measures for the workers, and tendering documents include requirements on how contractors will address health and safety requirements. EDDR includes OHS provisions as well as templates for the OHS management. As the project’s works will be implemented in dense urban areas, mostly within the median of existing roads and in proximity to residential properties, measures will be included with specific focus on traffic management, community health and safety. Contractors will be required to submit site specific Community Health and OHS Management Plans for review and approval by KMRL before works commencement.

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Aspects. KMRL has implemented significant gender actions, that include women employment not only in the management, but also as train operators, station controllers, or engineers. Through Kudumbashree, KMRL engaged transgender staff in facility management services at stations such as housekeeping, security and ticketing. Phase II possesses the potential to make a significant contribution towards the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The project is anticipated to promote social inclusion as it seeks to address in its design the access issues of marginalized and vulnerable groups. Potential incidents of sexual harassment at the workplace within KMRL would be addressed by an internal committee, which also conducts regular sessions with staff on women safety at workplace.

Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM). KMRL has existing customer care, grievance channels and management processes. Grievance/feedback submission channels for workers contracted under the project, citizens and KMRL’s employees include (i) a toll-free helpline, (ii) written feedback forms (available at stations’ customer cares), (iii) an email, (iv) a WhatsApp chat bot, (v) social media channels, (vi) station controller mobiles, and (vii) Metro Promo Center. KMRL has an established escalation process for addressing complaints received from these channels. For Phase II, the GRM is already functioning with a structure, which has been further strengthened by taking into account the lessons learnt from Phase I. A dedicated grievance form is made available for Phase II on KMRL’s website (link). Land acquisition and compensation-related grievances are addressed by the competent district authority for the implementation of overall land acquisition, awards, and payment of compensation. Locally appropriate public consultation and disclosure processes were and will be used to disseminate information about the GRM and AIIB’s Policy on the Project-affected Peoples Mechanism (PPM).

Monitoring and Supervision Arrangements. KMRL will be responsible for overall coordination, supervision, and monitoring of the project’s E&S aspects. KMRL will submit semi-annual E&S monitoring reports (based on an agreed format) to AIIB during project implementation. An independent third-party monitoring agency will verify project E&S compliance and report every six months. The project team will carry out field-based E&S supervision during implementation.


Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Tomás Herrero

Investment Operations Specialist – Transport


Republic of India

Prasanna V. Salian

Director Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance


Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL)

Loknath Behera

Managing Director, KMRL

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