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مشروعات التطوير

تقرير العناية الواجبة للأراضي لموقع مطاي SER 9 بمشروع تحديث الإشارات علي خط بني سويف / أسيوط ، مارس 2021

28/12/2021

تقرير العناية الواجبة للأراضي لموقع مطاي SER 9 بمشروع تحديث الإشارات علي خط بني سويف / أسيوط ، مارس 2021

Submitted to:

World Bank Safeguards Team                                 Egypt National Railways Restructuring Project

                                                                                       Modernization of Signaling Systems

                                                      

 

Prepared by:                                                                                                   Land Due Diligence Report

General Department of Environment                                                Matai (SER-9)

Egyptian National Railways                                                                             Beni Suef – Asyut line

Ministry of Transport                                                                                           March 2021

Arab Republic of Egypt                                                                                                 

      

 

Table of Contents

 

  1. Introduction…………………………………………………………….……...….…....3
  2. Project description.……………….……………………………….……………..….......3
  3. Specific description of the site status……………………………...………….………...4
  4. Policy objectives and legal framework.....…………………………..……….......….…..5
  5. Project Affected Persons’ socioeconomic characteristics.....….….…..…….……….......6
  6. Project Impacts.……………………….………….………………….…....………..........7
  7. Stakeholder engagement and public consultation……………………….…….…...…....8
  8. Mitigation activities, procedures and responsibilities....……………………..…............ 9
  9. Monitoring and supervision activities.……………….……..……………….…..….......10
  10. Corrective Actions...………...……………………….…………….…….……..….........11

Annex 1: The request submitted by the farmers to the property department at ENR………..….…..12

Annex 2: A copy of fee receipt..………...……………………….…………….…….……..….........13

Annex 3:  the farmers' agreement on the land plots deduction…………………………..…..….......14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF ACRONYMS

CTC

Centralized Traffic Control

EIS

Electronic Interlocking System

ENR

Egyptian National Railways

ENRRP

Egypt National Railways Restructuring Project

ESIA

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

ESMP

Environmental and Social Management Plan

GDE

General Department of Environment

GRM

Grievance Redress Mechanism

LDU

Local Development Unit

LX

level crossing

PAPs

Project Affected Persons

ROW

Right of Way

RPF

Resettlement Policy Framework

SER

Secondary Equipment Room

WB

World Bank

                                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signaling modernization project on Beni Suef – Asyut line

Matai (SER-9)

  1. Introduction:      

The Egypt National Railways Restructuring Project (ENRRP) aims to assist the Government in improving the reliability, efficiency and safety of the railways’ services through the signaling modernization and the track renewal investments by ENR and the modernization of its management and operating practices in order to enhance the railways’ sector responsiveness to economic and social needs and to strengthen the financial viability of the Project Implementing Entity. 

The main objective of this report is to describe land-related and social impacts of the project resulting from the loss of assets and/ or land use restrictions, mitigation measures taken to assist the people affected by this project to improve, or at least restore, their former livelihood. As well as this report includes corrective actions to bring the project into conformance with the Resettlement Policy Framework.

In order to address land-related impacts associated with the works at the site of the Secondary Equipment Room (SER-9) in Matai, GDE has prepared a Land Due Diligence Report.

 

  1. Project description:

Signaling modernization on Beni Suef - Asyut rail corridor is one of the investments in signaling systems financed through ENRRP. This component consists of Modernization of basic elements of the signaling systems. It introduces a modern Electronic Interlocking System (EIS) to replace the existing electromechanical system. The component includes creating a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) in Minia which will control the operation of the entire line and will be linked with other traffic control towers (technical buildings) along the line through a network of optic fibers for transmission of telecommunication signals. An automatic train approach control system with a computerized system will follow trains and identify delays and operation problems.

The project activities will include the automation of the level crossings (including the introduction of automatic, visual and audio signaling and gate operation) to enhance the safe and efficient operation of these vital elements of the railway line, the project activities will also include creating 39 technical buildings along the line from Beni Suef to Asyut to control the operation, these technical buildings consist of (1 CTC in Minia + 14 EISs + 24 SERs).

The Secondary Equipment Room in Matai (SER-9) is one of the 24 SERs which is constructed within the project, and it represents a secondary technical building in the modernized signaling system in which electronic equipment are existed to control the trains operation in a part of Mattai rail sector instead of the old electromechanical system. The land plot designated for building SER- 9 is about 70 meter square in ENR property. There was not an access road to reach the project site due to the presence of cultivated lands around the site. ENR discussed available solutions to remove this obstacle, finally an access road was provided in ENR property alongside the rail track. The creation of the access road, therefore, had negative impacts on six farmers, due to the deduction of small parts of the lands they use on ENR property.

 

 

  1. Specific description of the site status:                 

Matai (SER-9) is located in the kilometer of 214.784 on Beni Suef - Asyut rail corridor, Minia Governorate, Egypt.

The land plot designated for building SER- 9 is an empty land of about 70 meters square next to the rail track in ENR property, vacant from any users, but it was surrounded by agricultural lands cultivated by farmers, therefore there was no suitable access to the site.

General Directorate of Environment (GDE) at ENR recommended avoiding using cultivated lands, and that any land taking should be implemented in compliance with the World Bank policy OP 4.12.

ENR has discussed with the contractor (Alstom) the possibility of changing the location to avoid the need of creating an access road, but this was not a feasible technical option. Therefore, it was agreed that an access road on ENR’s right of way along the rail tracks with a width of about 3 meters and a length of 584 meters (from 214,200 km to 214,784 km) will be created. Therefore, six farmers were impacted, due to deduction of their land usage. They were informed with the need to deduct part of the lands they use from ENR property, and they agreed to the deduction. However, only three of the farmers (PAP 1, PAP 2 , PAP 3) responded to the invitation for meeting with the representatives of the property department at ENR, and an official request was submitted (annex 1) by those farmers to deduct the required areas from the rental cost they pay to ENR and reuse the plots which will be valid for farming after finishing work at the site, the farmers' request was approved by the property department at ENR. However, the three other farmers (PAP 4, PAP 5 , PAP 6) ignored communication with the property department at ENR, as they did not interest with the deduction of such small areas in comparison with their other large possessions of the lands (as indicated by property representative and people there).

The access road has already been created by ENR, and the site was handed over to Alstom where construction works has started in May 2019. Modification has occurred in the property register of ENR to reflect only the land plots that the farmers use after deduction, the farmers will also cultivate the deducted land plots once again after the conclusion of the construction works as the created access is just an earthy access road, in the meantime the register will not be changed again and the farmers will not pay fee once again for these land plots.

 

 

Access road alongside the rail track

 

Empty land plot designated for the building

 

 

 

  1. Policy objectives and legal framework:
  • International regulations:

The ENRRP project will be implemented in full compliance with the World Bank OP 4.12 on Involuntary Resettlement. WB OP 4.12 was developed with main common objective of mitigating the negative social impacts resulting from land taking or affecting the sources of livelihoods as a result of development project. The policy defines eligibility criteria, entitlement, valuation, disclosure requirements… Prior to appraisal, the project prepared a Resettlement Policy Framework in accordance with WB OP 4.12 that is applicable to all project activities. The RPF requires screening of all project activities for land-related impacts, and that the appropriate mitigation measures are applied before impacts to project-affected people are incurred. Project-affected people include tenants and informal land-users within ENR’s established Right of Way.

In the case of this site location, according to the entitlement matrix indicated in the RPF, the type of loss provoked by the project on the six PAPs is classified as a temporary loss of agricultural land. Moreover, the land users, in this case, are classified as individuals who do not have formal legal ownership rights to land but use it for farming and obey to an annual fee. Therefore, they are eligible for compensation for temporarily impacting parts of the land plots they are using due to the creation of an access road to the technical building. In accordance with these requirements, appropriate mitigation measures have been implemented, where the land plots deducted for the access road were deducted from the rental cost paid by the farmers and appropriate modification of the registered land plot occurred in the property registry of ENR. Moreover, farmers will be able to use once again the deducted lands plots, after conclusion of the construction works. Therefore, no significant impact of the land taking will affect the farmers. In the meantime, GDE is also following up on the corrective actions related to modifying the property register of ENR lands.

 

  • National regulations:

The main legislations governing land acquisition in Egypt is Law number 10 of the year 1990 on property expropriation for Public Benefit. It identifies transportation projects as public benefit activities. Generally speaking, the ENR does not resort to expropriation of private lands. ENR uses, in general, the land plots of their right of way. Therefore, law number 10 of year 1990 will not be applicable to land acquisition under this project, in general, and for Matai (SER9) site, especially.

 

  • ENR’s Approach to Secure Lands:

Reference to the RPF developed by ENR in November 2017, the ENR approach for land acquisition is as follows:

In general, ENR uses its right of way to construct the necessary buildings for the project. Sometimes ENR rents parts of this right of way to people, often at a minimal cost, and in this case, there is a contract between ENR and the user. Hence, ENR emphasizes avoiding occupied lands; in the event that there is no unoccupied land, ENR will extract an administrative decision to remove occupancy through the competent bodies.

This approach is taken with both tenants and squatters. With regard to squatters, the Egyptian legislation does not provide rights for them; with regard to tenants, the old version of the contract template (generally used between ENR and the tenant) states that ENR has the right to restore the leased property at any time. The ninth article of the old contract states that: "ENR reserves the right to rescind this contract without committing to breakdowns or damages in the event that the leased property sold or needed it for its works or any other government agency or its branches need it. It is sufficient for the tenant to be warned a month in advance with a registered letter and to collect back the value of the rent that was collected from him in advance for the remainder of the period to him on the evacuation at the end of a period of installment". In the meantime, the new version of the contract template that is currently used in leasing transactions for ENR does not provide for the re-dues to the tenant or does not require informing him in advance of eviction.

The methodology of GDE to address the land related issues involves setting out procedures proportionate to the risks and impacts associated with the project. Appropriate mitigating measures and documentation are taken in accordance with the project’s RPF (including consultations with the affected persons, monitoring, and addressing grievances).

For the land plots required for Matai site, the officer of the property department at ENR notified the six farmers with enough time to empty the required land plots, so that they could harvest the crops with no adverse impacts on them, interviews and discussions occurred with three of the land users who met with the representatives of the property department to provide assistance and ensure that they were not negatively impacted, in the meantime the three other users ignored communication with the property department at ENR as they were not negatively impacted due to the deduction of such small plots .    

 

  1. Project Affected Persons’ socioeconomic characteristics:

There are six persons who were using lands in ENR property and would be affected by the project in the site of Matai (SER-9), those persons were paying annual fee to ENR to use the lands, with receipts that include clauses indicating that ENR can get back their lands, when needed. (A copy of fee receipt is attached in annex 2)

 

The information obtained for the users’ characteristics and some of their other land holdings is as follow:

 

No.

Land User

Socioeconomic Characteristics

1.

PAP (1)

He is about 70 years old, he was a patrolman, now working in trade.

2.

PAP (2)

He is about 60 years old, he is a local contractor building houses

3.

PAP (3)

He is about 72 years old, he works in the trade of livestock.

4.

PAP (4)

He is about 62 years old, he was working with the armed forces, he possesses other lands of about 2 acres (48 kirats) (8,400 m2)

5.

PAP (5)

He is about 50 years old, he possesses other lands of about 2 acres (8,400 m2)

6.

PAP (6)

He is about 32 years old, he is an official in Health Directorate, and he possesses a large area of lands (about 15 acres) (63,000 m2)

  1.    Project Impacts:

The project has positive impacts, in particular enhancing railway safety and improving the quality of rail crossings at Matai. In addition, the project creates direct and indirect job opportunities.

Despite all of these positive effects, there are negative impacts on the six Persons affected by the project (PAPs) in Matai as follow:     

  • The land plots required for the access road were deducted from the lands used by six persons from the village of Tawfikiah, Samalout in Minia governorate. These lands are located in ENR property.
  • The land users (farmers) have no tenancy contracts, but they were paying annual fees to ENR to use the land plots (200 LE/ kirats), the fees receipts indicate that these fees for occupancy on an infringement that is not exempt from removal and administrative eviction and ENR can get back their lands when needed.
  • Only three farmers (PAP (1), PAP (2) and PAP (3)) communicated with the department of property at ENR, and submitted an official request to remove the deducted land plots from ENR property register so that they wouldn't pay fees for these plots.
  • Based on the request submitted by the farmers, the property registry of ENR was modified to reflect the actual area of the land plots used by the farmers after the land deduction, and the property officer also mentioned that the farmers will be allowed to reuse the land which will remain valid for farming after finishing works at the site as they requested.
  • The property representatives of ENR at Minia documented the modification occurred in the property registry and the approval of the three farmers on the deduction of the required land plots (annex 3).  
  • GDE representative visited the site and consulted with the mentioned three farmers who indicated that they have other jobs as a source of livelihood and they cultivate these small parcels of land for personal use.
  • The three other farmers (PAP (4), PAP (5), and PAP (6)) using lands in ENR property, did not respond to the communication with the property department at ENR and did not change their information in ENR property registry. Small plots of land were deducted from their total amount of land usage to complete the access road to the site. The land users were not significantly impacted by the deduction of these small plots because they had other large landholdings, therefore they left the required plots empty without farming after they had harvested their crops.
  • In general, the impact of land loss was minimal as the lands used by farmers in ENR Right of Way before the deduction were small plots and the percentage of the deducted area of the land of each farmer does not exceed as a maximum 25% of the total area before the deduction, so the farmers did not have any objection to deducting the plots of land required to implement the project at this site. The information obtained in the following table shows the total land area used in ENR property by each farmer before the deduction, the size of the deducted land plot and the percentage of the deduction.

No.

Land User

Area used in ENR property

Deducted

Area

Percentage of Deduction

1.

PAP (1)

2 kirats (350 m2)

10 sahm (72,9 m2)

21 %

2.

PAP (2)

2 kirats + 2 sahm (364,58 m2)

11 sahm (80,19 m2)

22 %

3.

PAP (3)

4 kirats + 3 sahm (721,87 m2)

21 sahm (153,09 m2)   

21 %

4.

PAP (4)

2 kirats + 8 sahm (408,32 m2)

12 sahm

(0.5 kirat) (87,48 m2)

21 %

5.

PAP (5)

2 kirats (350 m2)

12 sahm

(0.5 kirat) (87,48 m2)

25 %

6.

PAP (6)

4 kirats (700 m2)

1 kirat (175 m2)

 

25 %

    * 1 kirat = 24 sahm= 175 square meters

    * 1 acre = 24 kirat

 

  1. Stakeholder engagement and public consultation:

This section aims to highlight the key consultation and community engagement activities that took place. ENR GDE and ENR property department at the governorate level used multiple tools and mechanisms to reach out to the PAPs in compliance with the WB requirements.

        • On May 2019, a meeting was held between the representatives of the property department of ENR and three of the farmers (PAP (1), PAP (2) and PAP (3)) who responded to the call of the property department for meeting. A discussion took place with the farmers about the need for the deduction of the required land plots and a request was submitted to remove the deducted land plots from ENR property registry so that the farmers wouldn't pay fees for these plots, a committee from the property department has checked the site on May 20, 2019 and determined the area that will be deducted from the rental cost paid by each land user. It was also approved during this meeting that the farmers could reuse the lands after finishing work in the site.
  • On July 22, 2019, GDE representative visited the site, interviewed the three farmers (PAP (1), PAP (2) and PAP (3))  who were communicating with ENR representatives to better understand their social status, their source of livelihood, and how they were impacted by either the building construction or the access road. There was no objection from the farmers on the deduction of the land plots, as the deducted plots were small and the farmers will continue to use the remaining area and will be able to reuse the lands that were taken once construction works have concluded. The property officer provided documentation for the farmers' approval on the land deduction (attached in annex 3).
  • On March 3, 2020, a representative from the World Bank and the GDE representative at ENR conducted a visit to the project site in Matai, the team checked the location of the technical building and its access road. The team met the guard of the construction site, he explained the baseline of the site before starting works and explained that cooperation between the contractor and the farmers during work in the site is taking place (for example, the contractor coordinates with the farmers for the timing of water usage to avoid flooding the access road during trucks passage).

 

  1. Mitigation activities, procedures and responsibilities:

Impact

Procedures

Responsibility

Project phase

Duration of activity

Deduction of agricultural land for providing an access road to SER-9

 

- On 25 Dec. 2018, The representatives of GDE, Projects of ENR, contractor (Alstom) and the consultant (Systra) conducted a site visit to the plot designated for the technical building to examine a suitable access to the plot and discuss other available alternatives.

  - The land plot designated for the technical building and its access road are in ENR property.

 - There are six farmers using the land needed.

- ENR and Alstom discussed the alternatives, but did not agree on changing the site location.

- GDE communicated with ENR property department in Minia and confirmed on the necessity of engaging with the farmers, mitigating the impacts of land taking and responding to their requests to comply with the World Bank policy OP. 4.12.

- A committee of ENR property department determined the lands required (small land plots) for the access road and deducted them from the rental cost of three of the farmers Moreover, farmers will continue to use the remaining area and will be able to reuse the lands that were taken once construction works have concluded.   

- On July 22, 2019, the representative of GDE conducted a visit to the site, and met three of the farmers and interviewed them about their socioeconomic characteristics and asked if they had any complaints regarding the project.

GDE

+

ENR

+

ALSTOM

 

Preparation  phase

 

Accomplished

 

 

  1. Monitoring and supervision activities:
  • On March 3, 2020, a site visit was conducted in the presence of the World Bank accompanied by a GDE representative at ENR to the site of the technical building in Matai and its access road. It was noticed that construction of the technical building was completed and that the access road is an earthy road used for the contractor equipment and workers entry. The latter is also used by farmers. The representative of ENR property department at ENR (Mr. Yaser Kamal) joined the visit team to clarify ENR’s property and the socioeconomic status of each farmer. The team met with Mr. Mahmoud Ebrahim, a farmer from the village that was appointed as a guard for the site. He provided the team with information about the farmers using the lands of the access road, and he confirmed that no harm has occurred to the farmers as they evacuated their lands before works had started and that the workers are not impacting the farmers. Contrarily, farmers are very cooperative with the contractor.  Although the grievance form was available at the construction site, no complaints were received. The code of conduct is also available in the construction site, in the location, where workers take their break.  

  

 

Farmers' livestock on the access road

 

SER 9 building

 

 

  1. Corrective Actions:

The due diligence process pointed out a number of corrective measures as follow:

Non-Compliance

Corrective Actions

Land plots were taken to be used as an access road.

 

  • No fees have been paid by the farmers for the deducted plots and modification in the ENR property register to reflect only the plots available for farming took place. Moreover, farmers will be able to use the land plots that were deducted after conclusion of the construction work of the building.

GRM details to be available on site

  • GRM details were found on site. In the meantime, no complaints were received. The contractor explained that issues are resolved on the spot before becoming a complaint. The contractor was advised that GRM details should be available mainly for PAPs and any issue resolved on the spot should be registered.

 

Ensure that non-compliances with the RPF will not occur in the future                             

  1. The ENR Environment Department actively maintains a database of work sites for the project including an initial screening of potential land impacts. Sites with potential impacts are subject to a more detailed screening and the results are shared with the PMU and the WB for clearance.

 

  1. ENR Environment Department participates in monthly project meeting to be kept in the loop of subproject (sites) developments and upcoming sites that will be handed over to contractor.

 

  1. The General Manager of Environment sent official letters to the Central Directorate of Projects at ENR to confirm on restrictions on land use and the necessary of the commitment with the Involuntary Resettlement Policy (OP 4.12) in selecting plots required for projects, and GDE should be informed formally with any decision for land acquisition to be used in the projects, so that ENR Environment Department (including social team) could make screening and required procedures before impacts occur and ensure the compliance with the RPF requirements.

 

 

 

 

Annexes

 

Annex 1: The request submitted by three of the farmers to the property department at ENR

 

 

  • The personal information has been obliterated and kept in the internal version

Annex 2: A copy of fee receipt

 

 

 

  • The personal information has been obliterated and kept in the internal version

 

 

Annex 3: Farmers' agreement on the land plots deduction

 

 

 

 

  • The personal information has been obliterated and kept in the internal version