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17. Additional land required for road improvement under the PMGSY has been secured through voluntary donation by the land/asset owners. The CPF establishes the guidelines to ensure that donation is voluntary and the negative social and economic impacts due to the Project will be avoided or minimized. The community consultation processes for subproject preparation result in a set of documents that collectively serve as a plan for mitigating likely negative impacts of each subproject. This process follows the ADB social safeguard
requirements mentioned below for projects involving voluntary donations:
(i) full consultation with landowners and any non-titled people on site selection;
(ii) voluntary donations do not severely affect the living standards of APs and are directly linked to benefits, with community sanctioned measures to replace any losses that are agreed through verbal and written record by affected people; and Voluntary donations are confirmed through verbal and written record and verified (iii) and adopted through constitutional process.
(iv) Adequate grievance redress mechanisms are in place.
D. Monitoring Process in the Project
18. The Community Participation Framework (CPF) adopted for the project provides specific formats (Form M1 to M4) and timeframes for undertaking monitoring of implementation of social safeguards. The Project Implementation Consultants (PICs) appointed by the SRRDAs conduct the monitoring activities on all the subproject roads at the start of the project implementation for each batch of roads approved under Multi Tranche Financing (MFF). This process is repeated every month for the roads where any identified issue still remains pending to be addressed during the initial monitoring. The details of the packages/roads as well as the stage of construction where the PIC has conducted social safeguard monitoring has been presented in Annexure 4.
19. Technical Support Consultants appointed at the national level by NRRDA undertake sample review of the monitoring carried out by the PICs periodically as per the work progress under each batch of roads.
E. Approach for Undertaking Due Diligence of Social Safeguards implementation for Batch I Roads
20. As already mentioned, the award of the Batch I subprojects for construction has happened during the second quarter of 2013 and the construction works have been recently initiated. The PIC has initiated the process of conducting the monitoring activities. This due diligence therefore focuses on the processes adopted to address the social safeguards compliance during project preparation and preparedeness by the SRRDA to undertake the monitoring process as done for subprojects under the previous RRSIIP.
21. A sample of 25 roads (covering 11.63% of the 215 non-pilot roads in 22 districts) were randomly selected from the roads covering at least one subproject from each district where the Tranche-1 projects are located. Appendix – 5 provides details of roads selected for review. The desk review comprised review of project documents, files, correspondences, progress reports, and data of the SRRDA/PIUs. During field visits by the TSC experts at project preparation stage in-depth consultations, focus group discussions, individual interviews were carried out involving officials of SRRDA/PIUs, project affected families, officials of other line agencies like Sarpanch, Panchayat Secretary and Members of Village panchayats, eminent citizens, community leaders, members of women groups in project area. The APs were also enquired about their consent for voluntary land donation.
1. Implementation of the Community Participation Framework (CPF)
22. During preparation of the subprojects, all the major activities have been carried out to comply with CPF requirements.
2. Activities under Community Participation Framework (CPF)
23. The CPF adopted for the project follows the ADB social safeguard requirements
mentioned below for projects involving voluntary donations:
24. The selections of roads for improvement under the project were from the PMGSY Core Network. The PMGSY Core Network is approved during the meetings of the Zilla Parishad and the concerned Gram Panchayats. The roads selected under the project belong to the approved Core Network list and is shared with all the concerned officials of the district including revenue, forest, mineral resources, water resources, irrigarion, PWD etc., the elected representatives of PRI in the district and people’s representatives from the district in the state legislature and in the parliament.
25. Out of the 25 subproject roads reviewed 13 roads already had adequate RoW for the construction purpose and were free of encumbrances. The direct impacts were limited to narrow strips of land along the existing alignment, shifting of temporary boundar walls/ fences and/or affecting the veranda (chabutara) without affecting the structure of the residence proper, thus not requiring dislocation of the APs. In case of some roads, for example, the Dhamanda to Chhapri Taluk road in Ichhawar block of Sehore district, minor portion of the verandahs / platforms were affected without affecting the structure of the residence thus not requiring dislocation of the APs. However, as per the criteria of the CPF, these APs will be deemd vulnerable and they have included under MGNREGA as per the recommendation of the Gram Panchayat. None of the subproject roads impacted other structures or Common Property Resources (CPRs) like community land, places of worship etc. In case of the roads in which APs are identified, the village community has been consulted in this regard and the community has agreed for voluntary donation of required land for the construction of the roads.
26. The PIUs assited by the PIC, conducted transect walks in all the subproject roads and held meetings attended by the panchayat officials and land owners/ non-titled persons on site selection. Various stakeholders from the government (AGM/AE of PIUs, Revenue officials), Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), and the local community participated in the transect walk.
The rural roads proposed under this batch follow existing alignments and no new alignment was proposed for any subproject road. Certificates of land availability from revenue officials were obtained by the PIUs before start of the transect walk. The PIUs also obtained certificates from the gram panchayat signed by the sarpanch and the secretary confirming conduct of the trasect walk, land availability and identification of affected persons through the process.
27. The consultation with the community also focused on avoiding/ minimizing displacement due to the sub-project road. Inside habitation areas and in village sections the road width has been restricted (in some cases to less than 6 m) to avoid damage to residential or commercial structure. At the habitation areas, it has been proposed to construct CC roads for their longer durability and lesser disruption to traffic for maintenance.
28. Subsequent to the transect walks, the PIUs with help of Gram Panchayats conducted formal consultation with all those persons likely to get affected as a result of the road improvement. "Gramsabha" meetings were held at Gram Panchayat level attended by the sarpanch, secretary, senior citizens of the village and the village community including all the APs and the PIU officials. During the conduct of the transect walks, all APs were identified, fully consulted on the voluntary donation process. Vulnerable APs were identified through census survey and support/ assistance to the APs were finalized in consultation with the community through the village panchayat in case of all the subproject roads.
29. The CPF includes criteria for assistance to vulnerable APs. Vulnerable households are considered (i) those headed by women, (ii) Scheduled Tribes (ST), (iii) Scheduled Castes (SC), and (iv) Disabled persons, (v) Households Below Poverty Line (BPL) as per the state poverty line for rural areas, (vi) Households who are or will become BPL as result of loss to assets and / or livelihoods and (vii) Households losing structure. It was evident from the consultations on the roads that vulnerable APs had agreed for voluntarily donating their land for the proposed road improvement. Based on the assessment, the voluntary donation has marginal impact on a kutcha boundary walls, veranda and on agricultural lands. It is important to note that no AP has been relegated to BPL category as a result of the project. All those belonging to the BPL category have long been there prior to the impact of the project. Out of the 25 sample roads reviewed, 12 roads had APs and 8 roads had VAPs. Details of sub project road wise vulnerable APs and the impact are presented below in Table 1.
30. Census survey of the APs was carried out for all the roads reviewed, needing voluntary land donation and/or loss of structures. Interaction of TSC experts with the Panchayat and PIU officials revealed that the PIUs are in close consultation with the Gram Panchayats for provision of assistance and support to the vulnerable APs to ensure that they are not adversely affected by the Project. The consultation process supplemented by distribution of information booklets in Hindi (local language) has made the APs aware of their special entitlement in view of their vulnerability. The Panchayats have taken steps to include the names of all the poor/vulnerable APs for issuance of BPL (Below Poverty Line) cards that would entitle these APs to receive essential commodities e.g food grains, sugar, kerosene fuel etc. through government programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS) at subsidized rates. All vulnerable APs have been provided job cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Programme that guaranties employment under programs like road construction works in panchayat roads, tree plantation works etc. for a minimum of 100 days period in a financial year.
c) Voluntary donations are confirmed through verbal and written record and verified and adopted through constitutional process.
31. Voluntary donations are confirmed through written record and verified and adopted through constitutional process during the village level meetings in the presence of ‘Sarpanch’ and ‘Panchayat Secretary’ in case of all the subproject roads having APs. The gramsabha resolution identified the APs by category of loss and written consent of the APs for voluntary land donation was obtained. The resolutions also had signature of other attendants of the village community in the meeting including the sarpanch and the Panchayat Secretary. Need for land requirement and status of MOU with the APs are presented below in Table 2 for the sample roads reviewed.
32. Some of the vulnerable APs possessing job cards prior to the present road development program have already received the 100 days of employment under NREGA by the Panchayats;
and provision of essential commodities through government programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS) at subsidized rates. For all the other vulnerable APs who received job card after the transect walk and census surveys; have already started receiving employment under the scheme, and the guaranted 100 days of employment will be provided to them. The PIC will be monitoring that the VAPs receive this support assistance and submit the monitoring reports.
33. The idding documents issued to the contractors had special clauses relating to other social impacts likely during implementation of the sub projects e.g. equal pay for equal work to male and female workers, non-employment of child labour, setting up of construction camps away from the habitation areas and health related issues like sanitation, HIV/AIDS etc. The sub project roads are small in length and the contractors use local labour for the construction activities. This helps in providing employment opportunities to the locals. It has been observed during implementation of roads under RRSIIP that that there was no need for many contractors to establish separate labour camp or recuit outside labours for the construction activities. Only small camp offices were opened by the contractors to house managerial staff and skilled workers.
e) Grievance Redressal Mechanism
34. In case of all the subproject roads, village committees were in place comprising the sarpanch, panchayat secretary and other prominent citizens of the village for the purpose of redressal of grievances. As the site selection process involved participation and full consultation with the community, there was hardly any grievance by the APs and no complaint was received by any of these village committees. PIU staff are in regular contact with the village community and community leaders to facilitate resolving any grievance that may arise.
3. Institutional Arrangements
35. The PIC is in place to assit the PIUs in addressing the safeguard issues in the project.
The ADB staffs and TSC imparted training on safeguard documentation as per CPF and ECOP adopted for the project and subsequently the TSC experts continued the training process to the PIC. Meetings were held with the concerned PIUs for their cooperation in involving the revenue and other line department officials in the transect walk and obtaining official documents needed for meeting CPF requirements. This helped in better communication with the stakeholders including the villagers as updated revenue records are generally not readily available on demand. The TSC also had a number of meetings with PIU officials in improving the social safeguard documentation.
36. The review of CPF documentation revealed that:
i) People agreed to voluntarily contribute their land for the road construction, and this was confirmed through verbal and written records and verified by Gram Panchayats; Revenue Officials ii) There was full consultation with landowners and non-titled people;
iii) Grievance redress mechanisms have been fulfilled by the GPs.
iv) As per social safeguard policy of ADB compliance has been made to provide assistance.