The Vishnugad Pipalkoti Hydro Electric Project (VPHEP) is a proposed 444 Megawatt (MW) run-of-the-river hydro generation project on the Alaknanda River, which is a tributary of the Ganges. The Project Development Objectives are: “(a) to increase the supply of electricity to India‘s national grid through the addition of renewable, low-carbon energy; and (b) strengthen the institutional capacity of the Borrower with respect to the preparation and implementation of economically, environmentally and socially sustainable hydropower projects.” VPHEP is an environmental category ‘A’ project financed through an IBRD loan in the amount of $648 million. The Borrower is the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) Limited and the Guarantor is the Government of India.
The Request raises several social, cultural and environmental concerns, and related issues of compliance with Bank policies and procedures. In particular, it raises issues related to religious and cultural concerns, impacts of the project on water shortages and water quality, loss of biodiversity and other enviornmental harms, impacts on livelihoods, health, economic issues, and gender concerns. Requesters also claim lack of transparency and consultations and absence of studies in the Project.
Policies and Procedures raised in Request:
- OP/BP 4.11 Physical Cultural Resources
- OP/BP 4.01 Environmental Assessment
- OP/BP 4.04 Natural Habitats
- OP/BP 4.36 Forests
- OP/BP 4.37 Safety of Dams
- OP/BP 10.04 Economic Evaluation of Investment Operations
- OMS 2.20 Project Appraisal
The Board of Executive Directors met on September 30, 2014, to discuss and approve the action plan included in the Management Report and Recommendation submitted in response to the Inspection Panel Investigation Report for the India Vishnugad Pipalkoti Hydro Electric Project. During the Board discussion, Executive Directors noted their appreciation for the Panel and Management for working towards ensuring better development outcomes for affected communities and learning for the institution.
World Bank Management committed to closely monitoring the issues raised by the Panel, as well as any other that may arise during Project implementation so as to enhance the sustainability and viability of the Project. The Board approved the actions set out in the Management report and outlined in the “Summary of Management Actions.” It was agreed that Bank Management will update the Board of Executive Directors on these issues within the next 12 months, and will keep it appraised on general progress. See details in the press release.
Translations of Inspection Panel and Management documents are unofficial and are provided as a service to interested parties. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy. If any part of the translation in Hindi is inconsistent with the original text in English, the later shall govern.