Executive Summary CASA-1000 Project: Under the first phase of the Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM), a project entitled CASA-1000 is being prepared for the construction of a transmission line to enable electricity exports from the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The CASA-1000 project has two main components: a) a 477 km High Voltage Alternate Current (HVAC) transmission line through the Kyrgyz Republic (452 km) and Tajikistan (25 km) , and a 500 kV line from Regar to Sangtuda to strengthen Tajikistan’s transmission network; b) a 750 km High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) line from Tajikistan (117 km) through Afghanistan (562 km) and Pakistan (71 km). AC-DC Converter stations are proposed at Sangtuda (1,300 MW), Kabul (300 MW) and Peshawar (1,300 MW). The estimated project cost is US$ 970 million.
Social Impact Assessment: A social impact assessment (SIA) is important to identify the potential social impact of the project (in design, pre-construction and construction stages, as well as long-term), and thereby recommend mitigation and management measures. Information relevant to social aspects of the CASA-1000 project is contained in a number of previously prepared reports: an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and community benefit sharing studies in all four countries. This SIA report collates that information into one document, filling gaps where possible using secondary sources: no additional primary research was carried out. Kyrgyz Republic: 452 km of the HVAC line runs through the Kyrgyz Republic, in the three provinces of Jalal-Abad, Osh and Batken. The proposed transmission line route is very sparsely populated, passing by less than two dozen villages/towns. A survey of 25 settlements along the route found that the main sources of livelihood were agriculture and remittances from foreign workers. Access to some services, notably potable and irrigated water, was poor, and regular electricity supply was a problem particularly in winter months. The major long-term impact of the CASA-1000 project will be on some cultivated lands, while during the construction phase disruption could be caused to local communities, e.g. in carrying out farming activities, access to roads. Negligible resettlement and permanent land acquisition are anticipated. The overall social impact is thus likely to be small and temporary, and can be addressed through the following mitigation measures: a) design stage – aligning the route to avoid settlements, public infrastructure, trees and crops; b) pre-construction stage – making compensation to affectees prior to land occupation or structures being moved or demolished or if crops will be impacted; c) construction stage – confining project staff/contractors to clearly demarcated areas, ensuring the contractors respects local norms and traditions, in particular privacy of women, controlling noise and dust emissions.
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