Social Impact Assessment of the project is an important component of project preparation. GOI and GOUP regulations and World Bank policy require social impact assessment during the design stage to avoid, reduce or mitigate potential negative impacts of project action and enhance positive impacts, sustainability and development benefits.
Assessment results are considered with technical and economic feasibility findings in the final selection of roads to be rehabilitated and up-graded. The assessments also contribute to engineering design and result in the preparation of social action plans governing project implementation and the resettlement and rehabilitation of those who may be displaced by road improvements.
The project’s social impacts and resettlement component includes assessment of social impacts of the project and development of appropriate mitigation plans as required. These plans must comply with appropriate national and local laws and guidelines, and with World Bank policy directives. Social assessment is carried out in close co-ordination with environmental assessment team and design team and includes consultation and participation among project stakeholders, local communities and potentially affected groups. The social impact assessment and resettlement planning component has following elements:
- Social screening and impact assessment as part of project feasibility studies;
- Census and baseline socio-economic survey of the potentially affected population;
- Preparation of a time-bound Resettlement Action Plan (RAP);
- Consultations at village, district and state level; and
- Videography and still photography of all the routes.
Resettlement Action Plan (RAP)
The primary purpose for preparing Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) is to assess the socioeconomic condition of the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) in order to minimize impact and provide mitigate measures. Since the displacement is indispensable, rehabilitation need to be shall be done in such a manner so that the standard of living of PAPs is restored. Special attention will be paid to the vulnerable groups. RAP has provisions to ensure that PAPs are compensated at replacement value for the assets lost and to enable them to regain or improve their socio-economic status enjoyed prior to the project. The RAP is a live document and will be updated as and when necessary. Implementation of the final RAP will be done on data so modified.
The specific objectives of RAP are to:
- Identify the PAPs by the type of loss and extent of damage
- Categorise entitled persons (EPs) according to the eligibility criteria of the R&R policy of UP Govt.
- Work out entitlements for each EP based on the criteria as laid down in the R&R policy of the project
- Ensure that all PAPs are aware of their entitlements under the policy and participate actively in the project.
- Identify land for resettlement and the preferences of the PAPs for their relocation
- Develop institutional support for implementation of the R&R process.
- Evolve a suitable mechanism for monitoring and evaluation of the R&R process and indicate the parameters for monitoring
- Phase the implementation of RAP through NGO, which is described in the subsequent sections.
The resettlement action plan is based on the primary and secondary data sources. Secondary data source include Gazetteer of project districts, District Census Details, 2011.To assess the socio-economic condition, a questionnaire has been developed and used to conduct census and socio-economic survey of the project affected persons within the identified corridor width.
The preliminary social assessment was carried out, considering 10 m on either side of all along the project roads except at the proposed facilities such as Junctions, Bridges etc. Most of the land use categories along this section is predominantly agriculture, residential and activities being carried out by the local residents.
Most of the infrastructure improvements planned for the Urban/Rural areas will take place within the existing Right of Way (ROW) except at some of the congested settlements and densely builtup areas are proposed and at locations where minor improvements are required for accommodating road safety measures. Social screening surveys conducted in the DPR stage and verify the Right of Way (ROW) with revenue records. It was obvious that in majority sections of the project roads, ROW may be enough to accommodate/fit the considered design standards. Further, it has been identified that ROW is not fully free from encumbrances and at many places it is encroached and squatted upon by the people for various purposes mainly, near habitations and in market places. These issues may compound leading to delay of project and escalation of project cost. Hence, in order to face or overcome these consequences, a preliminary idea of Social and Rehabilitation issues need to be acquired need to be considered. The key social issues considered are as below.
- Loss of structures used for residential, commercial and other purposes and associated loss of livelihood due to impacts on sources of earning;
- Loss of other properties and assets such as boundary walls, hand pumps, bore wells, dug wells, ponds etc.;
- Disruption of livelihood due to clearing of ROW particularly, petty shop owners like kiosk;
- Loss of common property resources such as religious places, water resources, village gates, passenger shelters etc;
Land use along the Project Road
The proposed project road passes through the settlements wherein some pucca, semi pucca and kutcha structures are found in large number along the proposed alignment. These comprise private, government and community assets. The major portion is predominantly either residential or agricultural land. In general, the inhabitants occupying lands for different activities along the proposed road have land titles. This information has been used in the design of the Entitlement Matrix and mitigation measures. Common Property Resources along the sections of the project road include religious structures, community, water resources, etc.
The date of completion of census survey will be considered as cut-off date and therefore, people who are not surveyed during the census will not be considered as PAP. The cut off date will be used to establish whether a person located in the corridor qualifies as a PAP during the implementation of the various phases of the project. However, a person not enumerated during the census, but able to prove their stay in the project corridor, during the census survey will be considered for entitlement.
Resettlement will be required only where residential and residential/commercial buildings must either be fully demolished or taken to the extent that they are rendered uninhabitable or useless. Displaced residents of these buildings will be resettled. Similarly affected businesses and other public and religious buildings and structures will be relocated. Rehabilitation will be required where resettlement, relocation, or other project impacts result in lost livelihood or income. In these cases, it will be necessary to restore the economic status of affected persons to at least pre-project levels.
In most cases, the project will not require either full demolishing or the taking of residential or commercial structures to the extent that either resettlement or relocation will be necessary. Generally, only a narrow frontage strip of several meters or less will be affected. Frequently, this means that only a compound wall or fences, yards, must be removed. In some cases, small portions of roadside dwellings and businesses will be taken. Only rarely, will it be necessary to take entire residential or commercial structures.
Resettlement & Rehabilitation (R & R) Policy, 2014
This policy is based on the Right to Fair Compensation and transparency in land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 subject to subsequent supplements by GoUP orders and World Bank Operational Policy 4.12 on involuntary resettlement.
The action plan provides a detailed mechanism for the appropriate organisation and implementation of the plan. A social cell is created which will be responsible for the implementation of the action plan. There will be a Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R & R) Officer, who will be supported by R & R Manager (of Executive Engineer Rank) for each Road. In addition Non-government Organisations (NGOs) having relevant experience in implementation of R & R projects may be contracted to provide assistance to Implementing Authority as well as affected persons. The district level committees will be set up to facilitate the finalization of replacement value and all grievances of the people.