Overseas Min-Tech Consultant & Fortress Infracon consortium bags EIA Study contract for Varanasi-Howrah High Speed Rail corridor

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The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has issued a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) to Consortium of M/s Overseas Min-Tech Consultant & M/s Fortress Infracon Limited for the work “Carrying Out Environmental Impact Assessment Study / Field Work and Preparation of Environment Impact Assessment Report & Environment Management Plan for Varanasi-Howrah High Speed Rail Corridor (About 760 Kms Long)”.

  • Contract Package No.: NHSRCL/CO/CA/EIA/2021/03
  • Name of work: “Carrying Out Environmental Impact Assessment Study / Field Work and Preparation of Environment Impact Assessment Report & Environment Management Plan for Varanasi-Howrah High Speed Rail Corridor (About 760 Kms Long)”

In February this year, the NHSRCL had invited online tender for the Contract Package No.: NHSRCL/CO/CA/EIA/2021/03

  • National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) (the “Employer”), a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 with an object to finance, construct, maintain and manage the High Speed Rail Corridor in India. 
  • The Company has been modelled as ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ in the joint sector with equity participation by the Central Government through the Ministry of Railways and two State Governments viz. Government of Gujarat and Government of Maharashtra.
  • Alignment of the proposed corridor is generally planned within and/or along the Right of Way (ROW) of existing/planned Highway/Expressway and/or Railways land, keeping in view the speed and constructability requirements of the High-Speed Rail Project. 
  • Expected ROW of the main line (excluding facilities) will be approx. 17.5 m ± 5 m depending on project requirement.

Scope of Services:

The main tasks envisaged under this work includes:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment Study and Preparation of Environment Impact Assessment Report and Environment Management & Monitoring Plan: This will broadly include:
    • Carrying out necessary surveys/investigations and establishing a credible baseline for one complete season except monsoon
    • Carrying out stakeholder consultations as per guidelines of MoEF & CC and World Bank
    • Assessment of impacts due to project
    • Preparation of commensurate management, monitoring, mitigation plans
    • Preparation of cost estimates (including rate analysis) and other inputs for the EMP following the guidelines of World Bank
    • Ensure/facilitate appropriate disclosure of documents
  • Preparation of necessary documents, forms, applications, maps and studies as required for obtaining various applicable permissions required from ministries / authorities like Ministry of Forest, Ministry of Environment & climate Change, Wildlife Department, Specified Zones etc. including preparation of work flow chart with timelines, fee requirement by concerned authorities for each of the clearance required for project development.
  • Collection of Primary and secondary data, and the extent to which it is to be collected on either side of the ROW shall be guided by relevant Government/funding agency guidelines or good industrial practices as accepted by concerned authorities, in case relevant Government/funding agency guidelines are not available. 
  • The number of samples for monitoring, data collection, study area and other parameters mentioned in the TOR are indicative, relevant Government/funding agency guidelines shall be applicable.

EIA Study and Preparation of EIA Report and Environment Management & Monitoring Plan:

  • The Contractor shall carry out the environmental impacts assessment study to understand the environmental impacts due to this project and prepare and submit the EIA Report containing mitigation measures and environment management & monitoring plan along with costs in a manner consistent with guidelines & policy of World Bank/ADB/JICA and in line with the applicable laws & regulations of the Government of India and concerned State Governments.

Objective of Assignment:

  • The overall objective of carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is to assist NHSRCL in identifying environment and social impacts; prepare commensurate management plans to mitigate the identified issues and; ensure that the proposed works are designed and constructed in line with the regulations made by Govt. of India, State Governments and guidelines of the World Bank.

Upcoming High Speed Rail corridors:

Currently, the NHSRCL is constructing the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor. Also, Railways has assigned the work for the preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the following seven new High Speed Rail (HSR) corridors to National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) :

  • Delhi-Noida-Agra-Kanpur-Lucknow-Varanasi
  • Delhi-Jaipur-Udaipur-Ahmedabad
  • Mumbai-Nasik-Nagpur
  • Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad
  • Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore
  • Delhi-Chandigarh-Ludhiana-Jalandhar-Amritsar
  • Varanasi-Patna-Howrah

Status:

  • None of the above seven High Speed corridor is sanctioned as yet.
  • The decision on sanctioning any HSR project depends on the outcome of Detailed Project Report, techno-economic feasibility, availability of resources and financing options.
  • The preparation of DPRs is still in progress and alignment/route for the corridors has yet not been finalised.

Recent Updates:

The NHSRCL has already started the LiDAR survey for preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for Mumbai-Nagpur High Speed Rail Corridor (approx. 736 km) and Delhi-Varanasi High Speed Rail Corridor.

  • The proposed plan for Mumbai Nagpur HSR Corridor (approx 736 km) will connect Mumbai city with cities/towns like Nagpur, Khapri Deport, Wardha, Pulgoan, KaranjaLad, Malegaon Jahangir , Mehkar, Jalna, Aurangabad, Shirdi, Nashik, Igatpuri, Shahapur.
  • The proposed plan for Delhi-Varanasi High Speed Rail Corridor will connect the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi with major cities like Mathura, Agra, Etawah, Lucknow, Raebareli, Prayagraj, Bhadohi, Varanasi and Ayodhya.
  • The main corridor from Delhi to Varanasi (Approx. 800 km) will also be connected to Ayodhya.
  • The High Speed Rail (HSR) route will also connect the upcoming international airport at Jewar in Gautam Buddha Nagar District of Uttar Pradesh.

Source: NHSRCL-Tender | Image Credit (representational): NHSRCL

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