Environmental & Social Policy, Procedures for Transmission and Distribution Projects

Introduction :

The Government of Uttar Pradesh has bought out the "Uttar Pradesh Electricity Reform Bill" in 1999 to ensure that the power requirements of the state are met and the consumers are provided with reliable, high quality and cost affective electricity on one hand and cleaner, safer and healthier environment with minimum/no social disturbances on the other hand. The Programme, inter alias, includes the construction of new sub-stations and laying of transmission lines. Sub-stations, transmission and distribution lines are vital links between power generation units and developmental activities. The UPPCL recognises that the implementation of transmission and distribution schemes may have some unavoidable environmental and social implications. The construction of sub-stations and laying of transmission lines would result in acquisition of land and other assests and some temporary losses such as damages to crops. All this may lead to displacement of human settlement and disturbance to livelihood. In a welfare state it is the responsibility of concerned organisations to ensure that the displaced persons are resettled and rehabilitated properly so that their standard of living improves. It is with this objective that the UPPCL has formulated the Social Policy and Procedure (SP & P) to provide an overall policy and procedural framework to address all adverse impacts systematically arising out of its transmission projects. The UPPCL has also high concern for clean environment and sustainable development in its every activity. To achieve this objective UPPCL has formulated Environmental Framework and Safeguards for Transmission & Distribution Projects and subsequent Environment Management Plans. The SP & P and Environmental Policy & Management Procedures will be implemented by the UPPCL and/ or its successive companies. The brochure is intended to make all concerned aware of the provisions of the aforesaid policies and held the officers and staff entrusted with the implementation of R&R activities and Environment Management Plans in a meaningful way.

SOCIAL POLICY STATEMENT :

The UPPCL aims to resettle and rehabilitate the persons affected by its transmission and distribution projects in a manner that they do not suffer adversely and shall improve or at least their previous standard of living, earning capacity and production levels.

APPLICABILITY :

The Social Policy and Procedure is applicable to those who are living cultivating and practicing any activity in the project impact area and are affected adversely by the project activities as identified on the date of census survey.

SUPPORT PRINCIPLES FOR DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF IMPACTS :

Loss of Privately owned Land 

The lost land will be compensated at replacement file. Wherever people lose more than 25%  of holding; or remaining land holding becomes less than one standard hectare; of lands belonging to vulnerable groups, they will be offered land for land option and also be given rehabilitation grant equivalent to 750 days of Minimum Agricultural Wages.

Loss of House and Other Assets

The loss of house, house annexure, wells and any other structure will be compensated at replacement value which will be calculated based on the Public Works Department's basic schedule rates applicable for new construction without deducting the depreciation value. Wherever there are more than 25 households then alternative resettlement sites will be developed with adequate basic infrastructure and utilities.

Squatters and Encroachers

Squatters and encroachers are generally not entitled legal compensation under Land Acquisition Act. however, in order to prevent them from further impoverishment and improve their living standards the project will give certain targeted support and assistance to the squatters falling under vulnerable category.

Impacts Due to Transmission Lines 

Because of the restrictions imposed on the usage of land in the area of transmission tower, a one-time amount will be paid to offset the restrictions if it is agricultural land. Wherever the damages are suffered to the standing crops of other utilities these damages will be paid by calculating the actual loss.

Loss of Access to Common Properties 

The loss of access to common properties such as wells, grazing lands, worship places etc. will be replaced in the adjacent areas.

Targeted Support to Vulnerable Groups 

For affected women members, it is proposed to register the alloted house site or agricultural land in the joint name of the EP and his/her spouse. Any award of cash grant should also be given in the joint name of the EP and  his/her spouse. Other measures for women include giving transition allowance-equivalent to 20 days of minimum agricultural wages per month for six months-to women headed households of all categories, extending assistance in utilising the government schemes on women development. These additional assistance measures are over and above the normal measures proposed for EPs of any gender under Entitlement Framework. The Indigenous People's Development Plan (IPDP) will be prepared in case of acquisition of any loss from the tribal population where their number is large. The tribal being socially cohesive groups, it is essential that they should be rehabilitated in surroundings, which are similar to the area from which they are displaced.

ENTITLEMENTS

Category: 1 Title holders losing equivalent of more than 25% of holding of retaining holding after acquisition is equivalent to of less than one standard hectare of agriculture land.

Option-I
  1. Compensation at replacement value for land.
  2. One time rehabilitation grant.
  3. Registration and other charges.
Option-II
  1. Land for land.
  2. One time rehabilitation grant.
  3. Registration and other charges.

Category: 2 Titleholders losing less than 25% of holding.

  1. Compensation at replacement value for land.
  2. Transitional allowance equivalent to 20% days of minimum agriculture wages / month for six months.
  3. Registration and other charges.

Category: 3 Titleholders losing trees, wells and other assets.

  1. Product value for the remaining life years of trees.
  2. Actual cost to replace the lost well and other assets.

Category: 4 Loss of houses on private land : vulnerable groups.

Option-1
  1. Compensation for homestead land and structure at replacement value.
  2. Cash assistance of Rs. 20,000/- for construction of house.
  3. Free transport facility of Rs 500/- cash assistance for shifting.
  4. Registration and other charges.
Option-II
  1. Compensation for value of structure at replacement value
  2.  A house site of 100 Sq. Yards of govt land free of cost. >
  3. Free transport facility of Rs. 500/- cash assistance for shifting.
  4. Rs 300/- per month as rental assistance until housing is available but to a maximum of six months.
Option-II

Notice of 4 months in advance to harvest the final crop of  compensation at the market value for loss of standing crop.

Category : 9 Loss of houses / Standing crop on govt. land-squatters : Non Vulnerable Groups

  1. compensation for value of structure at replacement value. 
  2. Notice of 4 months in advance to harvest the final crop of compensation at the market value for loss of standing crop.

Category : 10 Loss of access to rancid Tenants accommodation :

Tenants

  1. Free transport facility of 500/- cash assistance for shifting.

Category : 11 Titleholder, whose land holding is more than one standard hectare, affected by transmission towers

  1. Cash assistance of 10% of the registered value for the area occupied by the tower.
  2. In case of loss of standing crop and / trees, compensation will be paid at market value of allowed to harvest the final crop

Category : 12 Titleholder, whose land holding is equivalent of less than one standard hectare, affected by transmission towers.

  1. Cash assistance of 20% of the registered value for the area occupied by the tower.
  2. In case of loss of standing crop and / or trees, compensation will be paid at market value of allowed to harvest the final crop.

Category : 13 Other impacts related to loss of assets of livelihood not identified.

  1. Unforeseen impacts should be documented and mitigative measures have to be proposed within the overall principles and provisions of Entitlement Matrix

ENVIRONMENTAL FRAMEWORK & SAFEGUARDS

  • Avoid operations in environmentally sensitive areas with special respect for fragile ecosystems and their inherent bio-diversity.
  • Avoid areas like high mountains, hilly terrain prone to land slides, large lakes, reservoirs, marshy places, human habitations and reserve forest.
  • Avoid routes trough areas of cultural or historical importance, religious places. Care is taken to route the lines through a path of minimum disturbance.
  • Avoid sanctuaries, national parks and habitats of important species.
  • ROW is selected duly considering the location of telecommunication lines and railway circuits to avoid electrical interference due to mutual induction.
  • Adoption of best technology / latest equipment to abate pollution.

ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT PLAN

Due to inherent flexibility in selection of routes adverse impacts are comparatively insignificant in transmission and distribution projects. To effectively minimise adverse impacts, if any, environment management plan is developed. Environment Management plan is an important tool that suggests suitable mitigative measures for the identified impacts, during planning, construction & maintenance stages of works. Environmental impacts that may arise during implementation are loss of vegetation, forests and land. Other impacts include loss of cultural & historical heritage, generation of chemical contaminates and fire hazards. Suitable mitigation measures will be implemented (see table) and monitored at various stages of project implementation by the Zonal level project authorities.

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS AND GRIEVANCE REDRESS MECHANISM

Social and Environmental Cell at corporate level and R&R Implementation Committee (R&RIC) at zonal level are the two levels of organizations which implement R&R programmes. The existing staff the Zonal General Manager are to look after the Environmental and Social issues at field level. The R&RIC at zonal level is the first redressed at zonal level, the affected person can further appeal to the SEC at corporate level.

The details given are only for information of affected persons and not for use by officials overlooking the detailed provisions laid down in the Environmental Framework & Safeguards and Social Policy & Procedures of UPPCL. The copies of the brochure will be available at zonal and corporate offices.

Corporate office 

Social and Environmental Cell, 

14th Floor Shakti Bhavan extension 

UPPCL, Lucknow

 

POTENTIAL IMPACTSMITIGATORY MEASURES
  • Natural forests, wet lands, wild lands, sanctuaries.
  • Vegetation damage.
  • Paths/access roads.
  • Drainage and erosion problems.
  • Chemical contamination.
  • PCB's in electrical equipment.
  • Loss of human habitation.
  • Air craft hazards.
  • Fire hazards.
  • Noise pollution.
  • Avoid environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Allow re-generation of vegetation beneath the Transmission Lines.
  • Does not create any access roads or paths but utilises existing roads during construction.
  • Proper grading of sites/construction of retaining walls, pitching etc.
  • Does not use chemicals for forest clearance/ROW maintenance. Uses hand clearing techniques.
  • Avoid, if possible private lands for tower erection.
  • Avoid populated areas, trees and plantations for sub-stations as far as possible.
  • Take up construction work sufficiently away from aircraft routes.
  • Provide fire extinguishers/sprinkling system in sub-stations.
  • Uses best and latest technologies to prevent fire hazards, noise problems etc.
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