Social Safeguard

India is the most populated and fastest-growing region in the world, is undergoing dramatic social and environmental changes. Concerns have grown about the long term sustainability of development. Rapid industrialization and urbanization, coupled with increased demand for natural resources, are triggering changes in land use and human settlement, declining water quality and quantity, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and desertification, elevated pollution levels, and negative impacts on human health. These threats tend to disproportionately affect the poor. High population densities and rising demand for land for urban development and infrastructure have increased the risks associated with involuntary resettlement of people and the adverse impacts on such vulnerable groups as the poor and Indigenous Peoples. SEWA works to avoid, reduce, or mitigate negative environmental and social impacts, including by protecting the rights of those who will be impacted or marginalised by the development process.

Under SEWAs social safeguard initiative, there is a structured process of impact assessment, planning, and mitigation to address the adverse effects of projects throughout the project cycle. This assists in (i) identifying and assessing impacts early in the project cycle; (ii) developing plans to avoid, minimise, mitigate, or compensate for potential adverse impacts; and (iii) informing and consulting affected people during project preparation and implementation in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Guidelines.(ii) impacts are assessed, safeguard plans summarising mitigation measures are developed, and a monitoring programme is implemented; (iii) affected people are consulted during project preparation and implementation, and information is disclosed in a form, manner, and language that they can understand; and (iv) safeguard plans / Resettelemtn Plans are disclosed to the general public, and information is updated at various stages of the project cycle (v) Develope grivance redressal machanishim.

SEWA has successfully implemented three resettlement plans under the Government of Assam’s infrastructure development projects to date.

Resettlement Plan Implementation Support NGO in Dibrugarh Subproject under Project: Assam Integrated Flood and River bank Erosion Risk Management Investment Program-Project -2 (Tranche II), ADB Loan No. 38412-033 IND.

Project location: Dibrugarh District, Assam.

Under Asian Development Bank loan project, FREMAA engaged SEWA to implement the two Resettlement Plans (RP) at Dibrugarh sub-project for a period of 20 months, from August 2018 to September 2020.

 The task assigned to implement two Resettlement Plans at the Dibrugarh Sub Project:-

  1. RP for Package-I (Riverbank Protections along the DTP Dyke area, 1050 m)
  2. RP for Package-II and Package-III, Upgrading of Oakland Dyke (9100 m), and Riverbank Protection from Rohmoria to Nagaghuli (2700m).

Key activities carried out by SEWA under the project-

  • SEWA assisted the revenue authorities in land acquisition by facilitating the issue of LA notifications and assisting the landowners to attend the LA enquiry along with FREMAA officials and experts. Helped landowners open bank accounts and organise the documents needed to receive compensation.
  • SEWA helps FREMAA in the process of relocation of APs, disbursement of compensation, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) assistance, and providing sustainable livelihood opportunities to the affected households (AHs) through skill building training.
  • SEWA was responsible for disclosing information and carrying out meaningful consultations with affected persons (APs).
  • SEWA also supports FREMAA in the implementation of Tranche 2 Gender Action Plan (GAP).
  • Dissemination of information and consultation
  • assist district administration and on land acquisition.
  • Verification of inventory loss and collection of socioeconomic data for the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) award.
  • Prepare R & R Proposal for RP Package -I
  • Prepare R & R proposal for RP Package –II
  • Prepare the microplane.
  • Training and Support for Income Restoration
  • Disbursement of Compensation, Assistance, and Delivery of Entitlements
  • Assist APs in Relocation
  • Assist APs in gaining access to the Grievance Redressal Committee.
  • Collaboration among APs, FREMAA, DC, and SIO
  • Ensure that social safeguard issues are followed on the job.
  • Carriered out awareness on gender and support in Tranche 2 GAP implementation.

Consulting Services for Implementation of Resettlement Plan for Project Affected Persons(PAPs) in Dibrugarh Sub Project Area, Assam, India. Trance –I. 

Project location: Dibrugarh District, Assam

The Dibrugarh subproject,  entail strengthening and widening of the existing embankment as well as river protection work along the bank line, which would offer protection to Dibrugarh city in case of major floods. The project aimed to strengthen and widen an 8.8-kilometer-long embankment under Trance 1 of the Multi-Tranche Financing Facility (MFF).

SEWA engaged to implement the Resettlement Plan especially for the following roles and responsibilities:

  1. working closely with the affected community and disseminating information to ensure that affected households have accurate and complete information.
  2. to carry out census data verification.
  3. To take the lead in planning and implementing the Resettelment Plan’s livelihood activities.
  4. To ensure gender equality and to protect the interests of the poor and marginalised.
  5. Verification and updating the Inventory of Losses (IoL)
  6. Computerization of the affected person’s database and files
  7. Issuance of Identity Cards and Entitlement Cards
  8. Information Campaign and Feedback
  9. Assist the SEIU in carrying out the asset acquisition process and disbursement of entitlements.
  10. Participate in the Grievance Redressal Committees (GRC)
  11. Assist the affected persons to access and participate in the GRC
  12. Assist APs in taking advantage of their entitlements and making proper use of them.
  13. Tracking and Recording the Disbursement of Assistance
  14. Preparation of progress reports.