To improve transport efficiency along the Divriği-Kars-Georgia border railway corridor and to enhance the operational resilience of Türkiye’s national railway network.
The Project consists of (a) installation of signaling, telecommunication and electrification systems on a 660-kilometer (km) railway section along the Divriği-Kars-Georgia border corridor; and construction/rehabilitation of sidings, bridges, station buildings, and other facilities to increase the existing railway operating capacity and improve operational safety; and (b) deployment of digital technology to strengthen the operational resilience and safety of Türkiye’s national railway network.
The Project will be co-financed with the WB, and the Project’s Environmental and Social (E&S) risks and impacts will be assessed in accordance with WB’s Environment and Social Framework (ESF). To ensure a harmonized approach to addressing the E&S risks and impacts of the Project, and as permitted under AIIB’s ESP, the WB’s ESF will apply to the Project in lieu of the AIIB’s ESP. Based on WB’s ESF, the E&S Risk Classification of the Project is rated as Substantial which is equivalent to Category B with higher risks if AIIB’s ESP were applicable. This is mainly due to the anticipated significant impacts associated with large-scale civil works. The Project E&S categorization and risk rating will be further reviewed at the Appraisal stage.
To address potential risks and impacts, the Borrower will prepare prior to Appraisal the following instruments: (i) Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) covering the entire project, including an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) and, if needed, Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP); (ii) Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP), (iii) Resettlement Framework (RF) for the Project, and Resettlement Plans (RPs) for identified sub-projects; (iv) Labor Management Plan (LMP); (v) Community Health and Safety Management Plan. E&S documentation in English and summaries in local language will be timely disclosed by the client on its website and in hard copies in the project area as earlier as possible. These documents will also be disclosed on Bank’s website.
The key environmental risks anticipated in relation to the Project activities include (i) air pollution and noise from construction machinery and quarries and operation phase noise and vibration impacts, (ii) soil disturbance and loss during earth-moving, (iii) loss of vegetation, (iv) impacts related to improper waste management, (v) impacts related to improper construction camp management, (vi) risks to community health and safety (traffic safety, earthquakes, avalanches etc.), (vii) risks associated with improper Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), and (viii) potential impacts on culturally and naturally protected areas (such as habitat loss/fragmentation and/or displacement, invasive alien species, damage to registered cultural/archaeological sites and/or assets), the latter related to the presence of several Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA), national parks, lakes, rivers/streams, and critical habitats in the vicinity of the railway alignment.
During construction, social risks and impacts are associated with land acquisition, physical and economic displacement, livelihood impacts, labor and working conditions, labor influx, community health and safety, and cultural heritage. Considering the mainly brownfield nature of the Project and the government’s existing ownership of surrounding land within the corridors’ right-of-way, land impacts are likely to be moderate. However, additional land may be required for rehabilitation/expansion works and other smaller sub-projects. Although the Project is expected to involve limited land acquisition, it may cause physical and economic displacement, mainly affecting state forest land, pasture land, treasury land, and private lands. These impacts are expected to be confined primarily to the right-of-way and sub-project sites. Permanent land acquisition will be carried out on a piecemeal basis along the route, and for fixed structures, primarily on pasture and private lands, and sub-projects, such as bridges, culverts, and substations. The Project will focus on minimizing disruptions to the communities’ main economic activities, which include animal husbandry, agriculture, and apiculture.
The Borrower will develop a SEP for the entire project to follow in compliance with the WB’s ESF and relevant national legislations. During the Project preparation rounds of public consultation meetings will be organized to gather feedback from Project stakeholders. Vulnerable and disadvantaged groups will be identified in the ESIA, and additional stakeholders will be mapped during project preparation. The SEP will outline different engagement modalities, promoting continuous two-way communication between the PIU and various stakeholders. As part of the ESIA, the PIU will maintain and disclose a documented record of stakeholder engagement, including a description of the stakeholders consulted, feedback summaries, and an explanation of how feedback was considered. In addition, more detailed arrangement of E&S monitoring and reporting will be determined during Project Appraisal.
During project preparation, the functionality and accessibility of the existing Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) will be assessed and project-level adjustments will be made as needed. Within its current practice, the borrower takes into consideration the grievances logged by the stakeholders during project design and implementation and thus, modifies the design accordingly. Given that General Directorate of Infrastructure Investment (AYGM) and Turkish State Railways (TCDD) will be responsible for implementing different components of the Project, all of which are subject to the GRM, robust coordination mechanisms should be established prior to Appraisal to ensure effective and timely response to any grievances raised, allowing for seamless resolution and facilitating successful project implementation. The information of established GRMs and the information of WB’s Independent Accountability Mechanism (IAM) both in English and local language will be timely disclosed to local communities and project-affected people (PAPs) in an appropriate manner.
Republic of Türkiye
Director General, General Directorate of Foreign Economic Relations, Ministry of Treasury and Finance
Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MoTI), Republic of Türkiye
Branch Manager of External Funded Projects, General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments, MoTI