EQMS India bags contract for carrying out EIA Study for Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Rail

Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd. (KRDCL) has issued a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) to M/s. EQMS India Private Limited for Carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment Study / field work and preparation of Comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment Report (CEIA), Environment Management Plan (EMP), Detailed Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) And Indigenous People Plan (IPP) for proposed Silverline Semi High-Speed Rail between Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod (about 532 Kms long).

  • Tender No.: KRDCL/29/2021
  • Contract Value: INR 1 Crore
  • Work Completion Period (in days): 

In June this year, KRDCL invited Tender for Contract No.: KRDCL/29/2021.

Objectives of the Assignment:

  • The overall objective of carrying out a Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (CEIA) study, detailed Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Rehabilitation Action Plan (RAP), Indigenous Peoples Plan (IPP) for the proposed Semi High Speed Rail Corridor between Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod Alignment (Total Length of corridor: Approx. 532 km), is to identify environmental and social impacts, prepare Environmental and Social Management Plan to mitigate the identified issues and to ensure that the proposed works are designed and constructed in line with the relevant national & local Acts/Laws and regulations made by the MOEF&CC, CPCB, SPCB, KRDCL, guidelines & policies of funding agencies like WB/JICA/KfW/ADB /AIIB, etc.
  • The consultant will list out the relevant Acts and regulations and identify gaps if any with WB/JICA/ KfW/ADB /AIIB, etc. and recommend measures on how these will be addressed.

Study Area:

  • The proposed SilverLine rail alignment with twin tracks starts from the east side of Kochuveli railway station near Thiruvananthapuram and ends at Kasaragod in Kerala State.
  • This rail line will pass through ten districts of Kerala, and will have stations namely Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Cochin International Airport, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod.
  • The total length of SilverLine rail project is approx. 532 km consisting of tunnels, viaducts, embankments, cuttings and cut & cover.

Scope of work:

The consulting services shall broadly include;

  • Assessment of environment and social issues/impacts in line with the over-all guidance given under the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Govt. of India (GoI), regulations of Government of Kerala and to be in line with the funding agencies like JICA/KfW/ ADB/AIIB/World Bank’s Environmental and Social Standard. This includes preparation of baseline/existing conditions; analysis of data/ information; consultations with stakeholders and; assessment of impacts, including any alternatives that can help avoid/minimize the identified impacts recording all seasons field observations as per direction from engineer.
  • Preparation of Comprehensive EIA and SIA, RAP, Indigenous Peoples Plan, project specific Environment Management Plan/s, Environmental Monitoring Plan, Environmental Budget as applicable, and their integration into the DPRs and Bidding documents.
  • The consultant shall indicate, provide information, all assistance for obtaining all necessary clearances required for implementation of the project on the ground from the concerned authorities (Government/statutory bodies) and multilateral funding agencies like WB/JICA/ KfW/ADB /AIIB, etc. Preparation of necessary documents, forms, applications, maps and studies as required for obtaining various applicable permissions required from ministries / authorities like Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, KCZMA, Forest Department, Wildlife Department, Specified Zones etc., including preparation of work flow chart with time lines, fee requirement by concerned authorities for each of the clearance required for project development. Various approvals required for the project are
    • Approval for CRZ from KCZMA and MoEF & CC
    • Approval from Forests and Wildlife clearance from NBWL
    • Mangrove Conservation plan approval
    • Approval from multilateral funding agencies.
  • The consultant will provide all assistance in obtaining all necessary clearances required for implementation of the project from the concerned authorities (Government/statutory bodies) and work till the time multilateral funding agencies approve or clear CEIA including SIA, RAP for SilverLine Project.
  • Any other work/s which is not covered in the scope of work as given here in the document and is/are necessary for the Comprehensive EIA and SIA as per guidelines/requirements by the MOEF&CC, CPCB, SPCB, KRDCL and funding agencies like WB/JICA/ KfW/ADB /AIIB, etc., added later by these agencies will be considered in the scope of work and done by the consultant within the due fee as per letter of awards.
  • Consultant will give presentations at the time of submission of inception report, draft reports and whenever KRDCL requires during the study period.

About the project:

  • The Semi High-Speed Rail (SHSR) corridor, called ‘Silverline’, will enable running of trains at an operational speed of 200 kmph.
  • This will facilitate trains to reach Kasaragod in 4 hours from the state capital.
  • The alignment of the SHSR corridor is same as that was approved earlier as part of the feasibility report, except for some minor modifications of plus or minus 10 to 50 metres to avoid religious/heritage structures, according to the DPR.
  • The SHSR line is expected to be completed by 2025 with the work starting this year.
  • 52% of the total cost will be raised as loan and the remaining expenditure will be met by the Centre and the state government and by participation of financial institutions.
  • The SHSR corridor  will have 11 stations including Cochin airport and would give a big boost to tourism in the state.
  • The project is a joint venture of the Ministry of Railways and Kerala Government.
  • EMU Type trains of 9 cars with a seating capacity of 675 are to be operated on the line, as per the release.
  • There will be business class and standard class seats on coaches.

Source: KRDCL-Tender Update