Bishnumati Link Road Upgrading Project

Background

The Bisnumati Link Road (BLR) lies within the heart of Kathmandu Metropolitan City of Bagmati zone, Nepal. This Road project is under Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the ongoing Urban and Environmental Improvement project (UEIP). The UEIP is a project being implemented with loan no. 1966 NEP (SF) from Asian Development Bank (ADB). Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) of Ministry of Planning and Works (MPPW) is the executing agency for UEIP implemented subprojects. The Bishnumati Link Road starts from Teku Bridge of Teku-Kalimati road section running along the west bank of Bishnumati River upto Lakha Tirtha of Chagal Area. Then it crosses the river and from Kankeshwori onwards, it runs along the eastern bank of Bishnumati River. From Kankeswori, this road follows the eastern bank of the river up to Indrayani. From Indrayani, the road diverts towards Khusibu via Dhalko, thereby joining Thamel – Balaju road at Sorhakhutte Chowk. The total length of Bishnumati Link Road is 2.8 km. The road is designed to have 20m width, 14m blacktop carriage way with 3m footpath on either sides or the road. The project cost estimate with contingency and with VAT is NRs. 143,847,909.24. The main objective of this IEE study is to identify the impacts of proposed sub-project implementation on physical, biological, socio-economic and cultural environment of the sub-project area and propose mitigation measures to avoid or mitigate such impacts. This Report has been prepared the format prescribed in EPR, Schedule 5 pertaining to Rule 7 of the EPR of the Government of Nepal (GoN) and methodology described in ToR. The ToR was approved by MPPW on March 2008 (Please refer to Appendix 2).

The Subproject Environment

The road alignment is located in Midland Physiographic Region of Nepal. The road passes through an altitudinal range of about 1280m of msl (Teku Bridge)) and 1304m of msl (Sorhakhutte). Major part of the road alignment follows the bank of the Bishnumati River. No agricultural land use practices are seen along the road and RoW. Climatic condition of the subproject area is sub-tropical with hot summer and cold at the winter.

The number of vegetation is insignificant. Vegetation comprises Bakaino, Ficus, Apricot, Alu bakhada. Most of them are not affected during the work since they are just on the side of road, The common mammals of the Subproject Area are Malsapro (Mortes flarigula), Lokharke (Ratufa sp.) and, muso (Rattus rattus) Most common species of birds documented are Dhukur (Streptopelia sps.), Malewa (Columba livia.), Dangre (Acridotherres sp.), Gauthali (Apus affinis), Bhangera (Passer domesticus), Jureli (Hypsipetes sp.).

According to the Census of 2001, the total population of the project area is 151193 with multi caste ethnic group dominated by Newar (85%) followed by Brahmin/ Chhetri (12%). Most or the settlement along the road corridor are clustered type. About 78% houses are modern type where as 16% housesare sub traditional type.

Beneficial Impacts

The immediate beneficial impacts from subproject in the construction phase are generation of employment opportunities. The people of the zone of influence of the BLR will be encouraged for the subproject related job. Other advantages during this phase are increased enterprise development opportunities in the area, opportunities to improve technical skills and know how through subproject related work and by participating in construction work of the subproject.

Once in operation, the proposed road will offer easy, comfortable and quick access to the people of zone of influence to markets, social services. Following the increased access and transport opportunities, other socio-economic development will follow including education, sectors like health, communication, market, and banking. This increase land values and further increase revenue collection. Black topping of the existing road will reduce the dust pollution and associated bioengineering works keeps the road corridor improvement and enhance the aesthetic values IEE Study of Bishnumati Link Road Upgrading Sub-project.

Adverse Impacts

The implementation of the project will shift the present location of the community storage water tank and some electric poles. During operation phase, increased vehicular movement may cause increase of dust and noise pollution. Likewise improved access due to road will increase chances of road accident.

Mitigation Measures

A number of benefit augmentation measures and adverse impacts mitigation measures have been proposed to offset the environmental impacts, and make the subproject environment-friendly. All the property and infrastructure acquired or damaged by the proposed road were already compensated. Due attention will be given during site clearing, spoil disposal and other construction activities to protect environmental integrity of the subproject area.

Conclusion

Most of the identified environmental adverse impacts are locally confined, and limited mainly to the period of construction. With the set of proposed mitigation measures, most of the identified adverse impacts can be minimized, compensated, or even set off. Once the measures outlined in the monitoring and mitigation measures are implemented, there is no risk for residual impacts that may affect the biophysical, socio-economic and cultural environs of the subproject area. Based on this IEE Study, this subproject is recommended for implementation these measures.