The Requesters allege that the World Bank-financed Vishnugad-Pipalkoti Hydro Electric Project has caused harm related to physical cultural resources including loss of cultural property and heritage, involuntary resettlement, and inadequate consultation and disclosure of information. They allege that resettlement under the Project has led to fragmentation of the community, and that this has resulted in the deterioration of their living standards and social well-being. The Requesters maintain that they are not better-off than prior to the resettlement, and that the Project has caused irreversible losses to the community including cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and social life. They allege that there was no meaningful consultation and disclosure of the resettlement documents in the local language during the involuntary resettlement process. The Requesters also allege intimidation and reprisals which affect their ability to mobilize around the project or to have their views heard.
The Panel had received an earlier Request for Inspection of the project in July 2012. The Panel had then conducted an investigation of the project and submitted its Investigation Report to the Board of Executive Directors on July 1, 2014. On September 30, 2014, the Board approved the action plan included in the Management Report and Recommendation submitted in response to the Panel’s Investigation Report.
In accordance with its Operating Procedures, after receiving the current Request, the Panel issued a Notice of Receipt on its website on March 15, 2022. The Panel then reviewed the information contained in the Request as well as in the Panel’s 2014 Investigation Report and other documents related to the previous Request. The Panel spoke to the Requesters on March 30, 2022, to better understand their concerns, and to Bank management on April 7, 2022. On April 12, 2022, in response to the Panel’s queries, management provided additional written information.
After completing its due diligence, the Panel noted that the concerns raised in the current Request relate to issues already investigated in 2014 when the Panel received the previous Request. Therefore, they cannot be considered as new evidence not known at the time of the prior Request, as required under the Inspection Panel Resolution.
On that basis, the Panel on April 20, 2022, issued a Notice of Non-Registration for the current Request.