The project is confined to a single site and involves works that have been designed in detail based on a well-prepared detailed Feasibility Study (FS) of an international standard. The project involves mechanical and civil works on the existing barrage structure (rehabilitation), and no new works are included. By far the largest and most complex element of these works is the removal and replacement of the 65 barrage gates and 25 head regulator gates. A detailed inspection of each gate shows that wear and tear on the gates, rollers and hoists is considerable and that the probability of failure is evident. There is considerable risk of failure of the main barrage gates within the next five years. Considering that it will take about four years for the project to be completed and for all the gates and mechanical equipment to be replaced, the proposed project needs to proceed, so that the gates are replaced before any failure occur.
During project preparation a detailed assessment will be carried out aimed at identifying potential adverse impacts of the project such as (a) possible canal closures during implementation, and (b) possible negative impacts on flora and fauna. As the project involves large-scale rehabilitation works on the existing barrage, there is a possibility of interruption of water supplies through canal closures for a short or longer duration. Also, the project may impact on flora and fauna: the Indus River between the Guddu and Sukkur barrages is a very important game reserve and habitat for the Indus or Blind Dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor). This part of the river contains almost 60% of the entire population of this river dolphin in Pakistan. Therefore, the project is categorized as an Environmental Category “A” projectct, requiring thorough environmental and social assessment, development of social impact and environmental management plans, consultations with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, disclosure of mitigation measures, and their diligent implementation and monitoring. The project has the following three components.
Component A: Rehabilitation of Barrage (US$140 million). This component will support rehabilitation and modernization of the barrage and its associated structures. The works have been determined based on (a) detailed diagnostic assessment; (b) hydrological and sediment analysis studies including physical and numerical model studies; and (c) geotechnical, structural, and safety evaluation studies. The component will finance gate replacement works to improve the regulation and the flow of the barrage. This includes replacing all 65 main barrage steel gates (the gates are 18.3 m wide and 6.6 m high and weigh 55 tons each), 25 main canal head regulator gates (the gates are 7.3 wide and 3.8 high and weigh 25 tons each) and hoist gears. It also includes providing new standby generators, electrical cabling and switch gears, replacement of barrage lighting, repairs to the barrage life-bridge and safety barriers, as well as rehabilitation of the three main canal head regulators. In addition, this component finances the strengthening of embankments to ensure improved flood protection. Minor concrete repairs are needed along some of the upstream gate grooves and both fish ladders require rehabilitation.
Component B: Improved Barrage Operation (US$15 million). This component will support modernization and improvements to the barrage operation and maintenance. This will include necessary upgrades to the instrument monitoring systems such as piezometers, gate positioning and gauging, training and capacity building for staff, replacement of surveillance and maintenance boats and procurement of hydrographic equipment. The project will provide new covered workshops and a stock of spare parts for maintenance activities. The instrument monitoring system for the barrage will be renovated and the operating staff will be equipped with an upgraded operation, maintenance, and surveillance manual. An emergency preparedness plan will be prepared. The emergency plan will specify the actors and actions in relation to the following chain of tasks: (a) detection and classification of any potential problem at the barrage site; (b) decision to notify and warn competent authorities; and (c) mobilization of response units when needed. This component will lead to upgrading of the operating facilities with a higher level of control and improved operation & maintenance.
Compon ent C: Project Management and Monitoring and Evaluation (US$15 million). This component will support the coordination of all project-related activities as well as training and technical assistance in procurement, financial, social and environmental safeguards and communication. This component will also cover the cost of consulting services including construction supervision, contract administration, quality control, preparation of any additional designs, and bidding documents. Activities will include the establishment of an independent Panel of Experts (POEs) to review, monitor, evaluate, and help guide the rehabilitation process with regard to the safety of the barrage. The component will also support implementation of an information dissemination and communication program, particularly regarding possible canal closures and implementation of the safeguard related action plans.
A social development action plan and an environmental management plan will be developed based on detailed surveys, social and environmental studies, and consultations with local communities in the command areas and areas around the barrage. This component will support the implementation of these two plans. If necessary, this component will also support the implementation of a resettlement action plan.