The Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Programme funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised the following issues:
1) More than 300 small shopkeepers are temporarily displaced due to the pending construction to facilitate the sewerage and drainage line along the Mahatma Gandhi Road.
2) The shopkeepers do not have an adequate source of income as of the moment and are unable to access loans as they have no standing assets.
3) The Entitlement Matrix was not explained nor shared as a leaflet to the affected persons (APs). The consultation merely focused on the timeframe of the construction.
Wind Power Generation Project
The Wind Power Generation Project in Sri Lanka is a US$ 200 million ADB – funded project which accordingly aims to provide increased access to clean and reliable power supply by 2025. The project, which falls under the energy sector, is said to address environmentally sustainable growth and inclusive economic growth. A total of 39 wind turbines will be erected in the Mannar District area, located in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. The outputs of this investment project are:
1) Wind power generation capacity increased
2) System reactive power management improved and
3) Capacity of CEB in project engineering design review and supervision strengthened.
Accelerating Infrastructure Investment Facility in India
Workers in Himachal Pradesh have demanded justice on unpaid wages and other benefits, arguing that the lender – the Asian Development Bank (ADB) – has violated its labour policies, causing negative impact on a group of 116 union members working on the project. A group of fifteen workers, who were engaged on the ADB-funded Kiratpur-Nerchowk Four Lane Road project in Himachal Pradesh, explained to the ADB’s Compliance Review Panel staff in a conference call that the collapse of the project contractor Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) has left them millions of rupees out of pocket.
The Upper Elahera canal project funded by the Asian Development Bank has committed serious environmental safeguard violations including the construction of a 1.7 km access road inside the Beligama forest which is part of the Knuckles conservation forest without adhering to the environmental safeguards as per the safeguarding policy statement 2009.
The construction company Sinohydro Corporation Ltd involves in these environmental safeguards violations. Although the environmental impact has been identified for this 1.7 km section, the construction company has not followed the conditions set during the project approval to protect the environment. The company has already cleared this sensitive forest stretch and dump debris and soil to the riverside and constructed another 1 km of the road across non-approved stretch.
The Phulbari Coal Project involves the extraction of coal using open-pit mining method.
It involves the construction of a 500-MW power plant. According to the ADB, at full production, about eight million tons of coal will be transported by rail and barges to an offshore reloading facility located in Akram Point. Some four million tons will be exported to India via railway. The remaining three million tons will be for domestic use.
However, as much as the economic benefits it intends to bring to Bangladesh, the project will not only pose a health hazard but displace around 50,000 people. Likewise, Akram Point, where the reloading facility will be located, is in Sundarbans Mangrove Forest – a UNESCO-declared world heritage site. Transportation of millions of tons of coal through Sundarbans and Akram Point will also have serious environmental impacts
The Sundurban Biodiversity Conservation Project (SBCP) is a US$ 77.5 million project financed by a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), grants from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Government of The Netherlands and contributions from Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), GoB, NGOs, and Beneficiaries.
Conservation Project (SBCP), we have managed to keep in touch since before its inception. We participated in a baseline survey under the Association In respect of the Sundarban Bio-diversity for Development Agencies in Bangladesh (ADAB the apex body of NGOs) on the request of ADB and submitted our recommendations to the ADB.
Six years after its conception, the Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP), the Asian Development Bank’s pet project in Sindhupalchowk District, Nepal, is still mired in controversy. Three of the project’s original funding agencies—the World Bank, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) —had pulled out in the last three years brought about by several pressing issues. In fact, the water project has been on the donors’ priority list in the last two decades but was never pursued due to conflict of interests among donors, mainly between the World Bank and the ADB.
The Chasma Right Bank Irrigation Project (CBRIP) was approved by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in December 1991. It involves the construction of a 274-kilometer canal along the Indus River that will run through two districts in Punjab and Northwest Frontier provinces. According to the Bank, it will irrigate 606,000 acres of land in D.I. Khan and D.G. Khan Districts in central Pakistan.
The project primarily aims to provide a dependable perennial irrigation supply, ensure efficient distribution water and provide necessary drainage and flood relief. Aside from the main canal, 72 distribution canals, 68 cross-drainage structures, and 91 bridges will be constructed.
The entire M4 highway is a 240 km road which will construct:
- 15 interchanges
- 23 ﬂyovers/underpasses
- 11 bridges
- 19 underpasses
- 191 pipe culverts
- 55 WCC boxes and gas culverts
There will be two bridges that will be constructed across 2 main surfaces of water bodies which irrigate agri-lands: River Ravi and Sadhnai Canal. There will be a displacement of 3,429 households from the use of 1,616.7 acres of land of which 86 % is privately-owned agricultural land and will require the cutting of 91,661 trees.
The Southern Transport Development Project (STDP) is an ADB co-financed project, which includes the construction of a 128-km controlled-access expressway from Colombo to the southern city of Galle, which will link up with an existing coastal road in Matara. ADB is providing a US$ 90 million loan approved in November 1999 for 55 km of this expressway, with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) providing funds for the rest of the stretch. The construction of the road aims to help catalyze economic growth in the southern region of Sri Lanka in general and reduce traffic and accidents on the coastal road.
The West Seti Hydroelectric Project is a 750 MW dam project in western Nepal (located in Baitadi, Bajhang, Dadeldhura, and Doti Districts), which has been planned by an Australian company, Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC). The estimated project cost is 1.2 billion dollars, and the project is expected to receive loans and political guarantees by Asian Development Bank (ADB), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), Export and Import Bank of China, Bank of China, Infrastructure Leasing and Export Corporation (India), Industrial Bank of China, China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE). All the electricity produced will be transferred to India by the Power Trade Corporation (PTC). As a royalty, 10 % of the produced electricity (or equivalent cash) is expected to be provided to the Government of Nepal. This project has been set under Category A, as per the ADB Environment Policy, and the first Environmental Assessment (EIA) report was carried out in 1999.
Last month, the residents of Basari village in Nepal informed officials about a nearby landslide that damaged five houses. Rising to the call of duty, at half past seven in the morning the District Administration and Police Officers arrived and took stock of the situation. The nearby cracked surfaces served a reminder of the devastating Gorkha earthquake the previous month. More than 250 villagers were relocated to a safe spot.
More landslides ensued the following day as tents were provided for affected residents. Whilst sleeping in the temporary camp, the residents of Basari village got another rude shock at half past two in the morning. This time an even more colossal landslide formed a wall of mud and rock that blocked the Kali Gandaki River. There was pandemonium as people panicked fearing for their lives. Local police made announcements on loudspeakers asking people in Mustang, Myagdi, Baglung, Parbat, Gulmi, Syangja, Tanahun and Nawalparasi districts downstream to remain on high alert. The landslide dammed the river and blocked almost the entire flow, which resulted in a 2-km long artificial backwater lake. The landslide occurred as a nearby ridge had developed cracks after the earthquake.
Indigenous communities affected by the Tanahu Hydropower Project in Nepal have filed complaints with independent watchdogs of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) -- two co-financiers of the project -- requesting an independent mediation process. The communities have alleged failure to uphold free, prior, and informed consent and inadequate compensation for loss of lands and livelihoods.
At least 32 affected families or landowners organized under the Directly Inundation Affected Peoples Collective Rights Protection Committee have called for ‘land for land’ and ‘house for house’ compensation, re-survey of land left out during the Detailed Measurement Survey of the project, and free, prior and informed consent in the project process, among their ten demands, they have submitted to the ADB and the EIB.