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Jharkhand State Roads Project - Gobindpur – Jamtara – Dumka – Barhet – Sahebganj comprising of a total length of 310.7 kms, traversing through a total of six districts in the state

A. The Project


The Jharkhand (JH) State Highway Project entails the upgradation and improvement of the existing State roads of Jharkhand with ADB assistance under the ADB's Country Operations Business Plan (2007-2009). The project will rehabilitate the deteriorated and damaged state road corridors to provide reliable road transport services and hence reduce poverty in the long term. The Executing Agency (EA) for this project will be the Jharkhand State Road Construction Department (JHRCD) which is responsible for about 6800 kms roads consisting of NH's, SH's and District roads.


In accordance with ADB's procedure for Project lending, a project road has been selected in the state of JH for project preparation and processing. This subproject comprises of the upgradation of the State highway section of Gobindpur – Jamtara – Dumka – Barhet – Sahebganj comprising of a total length of 310.7 kms, traversing through a total of six districts in the state. This existing road will be converted into a 2 lane State Highway under the Project.


B. Project Benefits and Impacts


The Project will augment connectivity between the six districts (Dhanbad, Jamtara, Dumka, Deoghar, Pakur and Sahibganj) and will lead to the easy accessibility of the local people to essential socio-economic services such as health care, education, administrative services and trade centres enhancing the general quality of life. One of the key problems faced by the local people presently is the lack of means of transport, as very few public transport ply on these roads due to the poor road condition. The limited transport vehicles that do ply charge nearly double fare particularly making accessing socio-economic services difficult for the poor communities in the area. The Project, by improving road condition, is anticipated to improve access and transport options manifold thereby benefiting the locals particularly the poor. The Package IV from Barhet to Sahibganj is the shortest package of the total project corridor; whic takes off from Barhet, passes through Borio and reaches Sahibganj. The sub project corridor in this package passes through tribal village like Kadma, Sonajori etc, where availability of ROW is narrow.


As part of the Project, the existing road in Package IV would be improved and widened to standard two lane entailing a total widening of 30 meters. Taking into account the widening involved and despite the anticipated social economic benefits, the Project will necessitate land acquisition hence entailing involuntary resettlement. In order to assess the Project level resettlement impacts, a detailed census survey was undertaken package wise from January 2008 onwards.


During the survey, it is estimated that a total of 857 households will be affected in Package IV – Barhet-Sahibganj subproject. The impacts of the present project largely include loss of land (residential and commercial); structure (residential, commercial and government & institution owned) income and livelihood (owners, employees, squatters). A total of 55.57 acres of land and 1047 assets (comprising of agricultural plots, residential, commercial and residential cum commercial assets, trees etc) will be affected as a result of the subproject improvements. The data gathered from the census survey reveals that amongst the affected 857 households, the majority 41% will incur loss of agricultural land, followed by 38% households incurring loss of residential structures. In addition, 5% will incur impact on Commercial assets and 15% on residential cum commercial assets. Table A presents a summary profile of the affected project population in the subproject as a whole.


C. Measures to Minimize Impact


All necessary efforts have been made in order to minimize the subproject impacts and to reduce disruption of livelihood. In order to minimize impacts to the maximum possible extent, adequate provisions have been incorporated into the planning and design of the subproject to minimize or mitigate any unavoidable impacts. The key technical efforts undertaken to minimize impacts comprise of – provision for - a) Community bypasses in several village areas and built up areas and into a more rural setting, b) reduction of Alignment & following existing road alignment in critical areas, and c) adoption of toe wall approach in embankment construction.


D. Objective of the Resettlement Plan


The resettlement plan (RP) is guided by the National R&R Policy - 2007, JH R&R Norms – 2009, Bihar R&R Policy - 2007 and various state laws on land acquisition, and relevant ADB Policy on Involuntary Resettlement (1995) and Operations Manual F2 on Involuntary Resettlement (2006).


The primary objective of the RP is to identify impacts and to plan measures to mitigate various losses of the subproject. The RP is based on the general findings of the resettlement census survey, field visits, and meetings with various project-affected persons in the subproject area. The RP presents (i) type and extent of loss of assets, including land and structures; (ii) principles and legal framework applicable for mitigation of losses; (iii) entitlement matrix, based on the inventory of loss and (iii) budget, institutional framework for the implementation of the plan, including monitoring and evaluation.


E. Stakeholder Participation and Disclosure of RP


Local level stakeholders were consulted in the subproject area while conducting initial social and poverty assessment. Similarly, due consideration was also given for Stakeholder consultations and community participation at different levels during RP preparation. A summary of this Resettlement Plan (RP) will be translated into Hindi and Santhali and will be made available to the affected people by the Executing Agency (EA) for review and comments on the policy and mitigation measures by means of subproject-level Disclosure workshops prior to loan negotiation. Copies of summary RP will also be made available at the local level public offices such as revenue offices and gram panchayat to stakeholders for local inputs prior to award of civil work contract. The proceedings of the disclosure workshop and the feedback received will be sent to ADB for review. The summary of the final RP will also be disclosed on the ADB Website.


F. Implementation Arrangements & Grievance Redressal


Executing Agency (EA) of the State Road Project in Jharkhand is the Road Construction Department (RCD) of the State government and will be responsible for overall strategic guidance, technical supervision, execution of the project, and ensuring compliance with the loan covenants. Project Implementation Cell under Road Construction Department will be established in Ranchi. This PIC will be headed by a full-time Director (ADB Project) reporting to the Secretary – RCD.


PIC would also ensure monitoring any changes to the subproject design. In case of change in subproject design thereby entailing change in resettlement impacts, a re-evaluation and updation of the RP will be undertaken. The updated RP will be disclosed to the APs, endorsed by the EA and will be submitted to ADB for approval prior to award of civil works contracts for the subproject. The updated RP, not just the summary will be disclosed to the APs as well as uploaded on the ADB website after ADB review and approval. PIC would also ensure that resettlement budgets are delivered on time for RP implementation. A field based District level Implementation Cell, headed by an Executive Engineer and assisted by a dedicated R&R Officer (RO) to implement the RP, will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the RP. This DIC will be assisted by local NGOs.


In order to resolve and address the grievances of the communities and people affected, a Grievance Redressal Cell would be established at the District Implementation Cell level. This Cell will comprise of the Executive Engineer, local NGO representative, community leaders (non- political), representatives of affected persons including women and vulnerable groups. To facilitate inter-departmental coordination as well as ensure speedy resolution of issues and grievances of the communities, a District level task force chaired by District Collector and comprising of District Land Acquisition Officer (DLAO), District Forest Officer (DFO), Executive Engineer and Additional District Magistrate and Relief Officer has been constituted at the each district level.


All compensation and other assistances1 will be paid to all APs prior to commencement of civil works. A detailed implementation schedule for the various activities is provided in Figure 7.2 in the main text.


G. Budget


The total estimated cost for resettlement operation and management for the Project is Rs. 85,215,411 (USD 2,028,938).


H. Training, Monitoring & Evaluation


An orientation and training in resettlement management will be provided under the Project by the ADB Consultant on NGO Engagement to the NGOs focusing on issues concerning - (i) principles and procedures of land acquisition; (ii) the policies and principles agreed under the ADB loan; (iii) public consultation and participation; (iv) entitlements and compensation disbursement mechanisms; (v) Grievance redressal and (vi) monitoring of resettlement operation.


The RP will have both internal and external monitoring. Internal Monitoring will be a regular activity for the PIC, which will oversee the timely implementation of R&R activities. Internal Monitoring will be carried out by the PIC and its agents, such as NGOs and will prepare monthly reports on the progress of RP Implementation.


External (or independent) monitoring will be hired by ADB to provide an independent periodic assessment of resettlement implementation and impacts to verify internal monitoring, and to suggest adjustment of delivery mechanisms and procedures as required.


Download the entire report here (.pdf).


Over 12,000 trees would be uprooted from the districts of Dumka, Sahebganj, Jamtara and Pakur to facilitate the construction of the highway that is being sponsored by Asian Development Bank.

Four districts have to pay a heavy green price for the proposed Govindpur-Sahebganj two-lane express highway.


At Sahebganj district, 2.21 hectares of uncovered forestland and 0.8627 hectares of covered forestlands will be acquired. Over 2,597 trees at four Mouzas (revenue villages) — Khairasol, Paharpur, Bara Chandvasi and Burudehi — spreading across 2.991 hectares would be cut down for the construction of the highway. At Pakur, around 1,200 trees would be under the axe while the loss of trees in Dumka will be about 4,500.


Regional chief conservator of forest (Dumka) Manraj has send the initial proposal of uprooting trees to the state headquarters after receiving a proposal from the forest department of respective districts in Santhal Pargana.


In the first phase, executive engineers of road divisions would send the proposal to the concerned district forest officials (DFOs) for acquiring the forestland for the highway, Manraj said. The DFO would then conduct survey of lands and send the final report to the state.


According to DFO of Sahebganj J.P.N. Sinha, the road division or the concerned authorities will only get the no-objection certificate only after compensating for cutting the trees as per the norms of the ministry of forest and environment.


The 330km-stretch highway would cost approximately Rs 800 crore, sources said. The road will begin from Govindpur (Dhanbad) and pass through Sahebganj via Jamtara, Dumka, Pakur. The road would also cover some parts of Palazori, in between Jamtara and Dumka, at Deoghar.


© The Telegraph / July 8, 2009


Health hiccup for hilltop Adivasi in Dumka, Jharkhand

Family members of Sharmila Kumari (15) and Samonti Devi (35) — two cerebral malaria patients at Paharia village, Bhoolpaharia, under Massanjore police station in Dumka — have no hope that the patients could survive.


The reason: poor healthcare facilities provided by the government at the hilltop village. "We hardly have anything to eat. How could we carry the patients to Dumka town for further treatment?" asked one of the family members.


The state — under special welfare projects for venerable Paharia tribes in six Santhal Pargana districts — has spent crores of rupees every year. It has even appointed special Paharia officer in each district to monitor government-sponsored schemes. Since the near-extinct ethnic community members prefer to stay at their hilltop villages, the state had arranged special medical services on their doorsteps. But all such efforts have failed to curb mortality rate, said a government official on condition of anonymity. "I was asked to visit the special Paharia health centre every fortnight on a monthly remuneration of Rs 200. Imagine my hardship to travel or climb the hilltop to take care of the patients," said Ramishwar Singh, an allopathic doctor in charge of Uparmurgathali, besides Chatupara and Ghoribad villages.


"Since the patients are in hand-to-mouth conditions, on many occasions I have to lend money from my pocket for the medicines," he added.


Lakshmi Devi Mirdha, an auxiliary nursing midwife posted at Ghoribad Paharia special hospital in Jama block, alleged that the monthly remuneration of Rs 1,200 came through the local gram sabha and she has to pay 10 per cent of the amount as "bribe" for releasing the amount. "Why such indiscrimination? Para-teachers posted at Paharia villages receive direct remuneration from the schools?" she said angrily.


Tulshi Das Hembrom, a compounder at Siddhapaharia Paharaia hospital in Gopikander, said that with the monthly honorarium of Rs 1,000 per month, it was very difficult for him to provide 24-hour duty.


"In June, I had attained more than 260 patients independently as the doctor on duty visited only two days," he said.


There are eight special Paharia health centres in Dumka district spread across 10 blocks run by the welfare department with three doctors (each having charges of two-three centres), with eight ANMs and eight compounders. The health centres are run by the gram sabhas under the supervision of special Paharia officer. The appointment of the heath workers was done by the gram sabhas. The government gives Rs 71,200 a year to each health centre out of which Rs 40,000 is meant for purchasing medicines.


Most of the staff in the health centres said that malnutrition, water-borne diseases, cerebral malaria and malaria along with other ailments were common in the areas. "We are working for the government but it is not recognising us as its staff," said Gita Hembrom, an ANM of Chatupara Paharia Hospital.


On July 8, 2008, Dumka deputy commissioner Prasant Kumar, in a confidential report to the welfare department additional secretary (letter no 1659/8-7-08), requested an increase in monthly remuneration of the workers in the special Paharia health centres in the district. He also requested the state to provide different allowances in accordance with the government sops offered to medical workers.


Even after over one year, the welfare department is yet to take notice of the letter. "The ball is now in the court of the state. What can we do with it?" Dumka special Paharia officer Dashrath Prasad Routh said helplessly. He admitted that because of hardship, proper attention to the endangered Paharia tribes could not be possible.


© The Telegraph / July 10, 2009

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