Chasma Right Bank Irrigation Project  Documents

NGOs report faulty project design (December 2002) Mushtaq Gadi of SUNGI Development Foundation and CRBIP Affectee Javid Iqbal visited CRBIP site 10-14 in December 2002 and reported mistakes in project design and preparation that have significant and destructive impacts on communities: “Lack of comprehensive and participatory social, cultural and environmental impact assessment in the case of Chashma Right Bank Irrigation Project (CRBIP) plays key role in suppressing and displacing the requisite knowledge of adverse impacts of the project. However, this situation politically benefits the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and provides them the opportunity to avoid taking the responsibility for the havoc, which they have created in the name of development. Some mistakes committed in the project design preparation and implementation are stupidly unjustified, though they have significant destructive consequences for the security of life, livelihoods and ecology in the area.


Affected persons of the Chashma Right Bank Irrigation Project (CRBIP) Stage III, filed an inspection claim to the ADB’s Board Inspection Committee (BIC) on November 19, 2002. Following are the major concerns of the project affectees:


  • Lack of comprehensive and participatory socio-economic, cultural and environmental project assessment; 

  • Flooding and resettlement; 

  • Changes in project design, supplementary financing, and full project reappraisal; 

  • Forced and illegal land acquisition and compensation; 

  • Lifestyle disruptions, in-migration and disintegration of community networks and support systems; and 

  • Adverse Environmental impacts.


Complainants claim that the ADB did not comply with its own policies and procedures viz:

  • Incorporation of Social Dimensions in Bank’s Operations

  • Guidelines for Social Analysis for Development Projects

  • Environmental Considerations in Bank’s Operation

  • Policy on Involuntary Resettlement

  • Policy on Indigenous Peoples

  • Operational Procedures on Supplementary Financing of Cost overruns of Bank-Financed Projects (OM 32 BP/OP and OM 13/OP)

  • Policy on Benefit Monitoring and Evaluation.


Inspection claimants are: Mr. Zafar Iqbal Lund (Hirak Development Center, D.G. Khan; Mr. Ahsan Wagha, Damaan Development Organization, D.G. Khan; Mr. Khadim Hussain, Action Aid-Pakistan, Islamabad; Mr. M. Nauman, Creed Alliance, Karachi; Mr. Shafi Qaisrani, Chashma Affectees Committee, D. G.Khan; and Mr. Mushtaq Gadi, SUNGI, Islamabad.



Chasma affectees staged a protest rally against the highhandedness of local district administration and Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and violation by ADB of its own policies and procedures in Dera Ghazi Khan on October 4, 2002. The affectees warned that a mass movement will be launched against them if they failed to ensure immediate redress of their grievances. They demanded the following:


  • allotment of land against the land acquired from them by WAPDA

  • land valuation according to market rates; resettlement and rehabilitation of the affectees

  • accountability of the ADB and WAPDA staff

  • elimination of corruption and commission mafia in the project.


More than 500 project affectees, peasant councilors and the representatives of political parties and NGOs joined the rally organized by Chashma Mutasereen Committee (CMC) and Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) Area Organization.




Due to the September 11 attacks in the US, ADB reset its CRBIP mission and multi-stakeholder dialogue –originally scheduled for September 2001 — to March 2002. Affectees had been unhappy with this latest development as many of the problems brought about by the project have yet to be resolved, even as the project nears completion.

ADB releases draft consultants’ report (September 2001) ADB consultants from Consensus-Building Institute released a discussion paper it prepared for the multi-stakeholder dialogue on CRBIP III slated for September. Chasma affectees and civil society groups were unhappy with the report, however, citing that many of their concerns have not been addressed. These include negative environmental impacts, overestimation of economic returns, flaws in project design and decision-making processes.


ADB consultants to assess CRBIP social impacts (July 2001) ADB contracted the services of US-based Consensus-Building Institute (CBI) in July 2001 to undertake an “independent and neutral process” of social assessment for CRBIP III and initiate a multi-stakeholder dialogue. The Social Assessment Team consists of Dr. Adil Najam (senior consultant, CBI) and Syed Ayub Qutub (President, Pakistan Institute of Environment-Development Action Research). An initial fact-finding mission will be undertaken in August and a draft report prepared for discussion at a multi-stakeholder workshop in September. Consultants will visit Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and the project area in DI Khan. Aside from project affectees, the consultants’ team will meet with government officials and other stakeholders, including ADB staff and SUNGI/DAMAAN. Chasma affectees earlier demanded that WAPDA arranges a CRBIP workshop with various stakeholders to develop and mutually agreed on the work plan for regular engagement between the affectees and WAPDA and a code of conduct for the latter. (see consultants’ TOR and schedule of ADB mission)



Some twenty-two (22) NGO participants at the FORUM-organized Regional Strategy Meeting of Asian NGOs on ADB Advocacy in April 2001 in Subic, Philippines endorsed an “Initial Charter of Demands” presented by Wasim Wagha, a representative of the local NGO DAMAAN. The participants also signed a letter in support of the Chasma affectees, which Wagha also presented at subsequent meetings with various ADB officials at the Bank’s Headquarters in Manila.



In a February 2001 meeting organized by WAPDA on the occasion of site visit of ADB’s Akira Seki, Director of the Agriculture and Social Sector Development (West), Chasma affectees realized that WAPDA and ADB officials were unwilling to listen to their concerns. From a report prepared by SUNGI’s Khadim Hussain: “… it seems that both WAPDA and ADB like to deal with the issue by dilly-dallying and wasting time, they want to quickly finish the project and leave the mess they have made for the local administration to deal with… (ADB) tries to shift the blame to the implementing agency (WAPDA). It always shows readiness to bring more funds (loans) to remove the complaints of the communities. On the other hand, WAPDA wants to deal with people in the typical bureaucratic way; that is, first to ignore them (PD told DAMAAN that he didn’t read the survey report), then to split the people by threats, co-optation, bribery in the form of favors, etc.”


NGO survey reveals adverse social, environmental impacts (November 2000) DAMAAN (a local NGO) and Sungi Development Foundation conducted a survey of CRBIP III in November 2000. The survey identified several adverse social, environmental and economic impacts of the project. Social impacts include mobility of people, land ownership patterns, land prices, labor movements, the influx of outsiders, social organization, movement of capital, cropping pattern.



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