INDEPENDENT GRIEVANCES REDRESS COMMITTEE (IGRC)
Dasu HP and Its Impacts:
The Dasu Hydropower Project, located at about 7 km upstream of Dasu town (Kohistan, KP), is currently under construction. The aim of the Project is to generate 4320 MW of electricity by constructing a 242m high dam on the river Indus. It is a "run of river" hydro project. The reservoir upstream will affect some 40 small hamlets/villages from both banks of the Indus displacing close to 1800 households. As per the Social and Resettlement Management Plan (SRMP), a system of IGRC has been established to address and resolve any complaints or grievances of the affected households and communities.
Purpose and Scope of the IGRC:
IGRC will follow the procedures already established in the Grievance Redress Plan (Vol. 9/SRMP 2014) and cover any disputes and grievances arising out of the implementation of SRMP and the Environmental Impact Management Plan (EMAP). In the Project context, grievances and disputes are very likely to arise due to for example, (i) lack of land record systems in Kohistan district; (ii) titles over communal lands; (iii) unintended errors in establishing Inventory of Losses (IOL); (iv) exclusion of legitimate affected households due to migration to higher elevations; (v) gaps in the legal/policy framework regarding socially and legally identified owners of land; (vi) lack of adequate safety in the construction areas. The IGRC main purpose is to deal with the grievances and resolve them to the satisfaction of the parties involved and to facilitate project implementation.
Structure of IGRC:
The IGRC consist of 5-member committee, headed by the Chair (retired Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue); representative of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kohistan Upper (Member); representative of Project Director, Dasu HP (Member); Member-Secretary/Director Social/Environment; and one representative from the Left and Right bank communities. In addition to IGRC, the Jirga functions (with DC/PD) will continue where it deemed required for dispute resolution.
The process includes;
A. Filing cases: Affected persons and/or communities will be able to file their grievances without any fear and intimidation. Affected persons (or their authorized representatives) can file a grievance with the IGRC in one of the following ways: (i) submit a completed grievance form in Urdu to the chair of the IGRC at his office (forms available in IGRC, PD and DC offices); (ii) contact the member/Secretary of the IGRC to discuss the grievances and disputes to be followed by a formal filling of case/complaint; and (iii) the nature of the grievance or dispute must be clearly explained in the form. Complaints received by DC/PD or by Public Information Centre (PIC) will be forwarded to the IGRC Secretariat. In consideration of the local cultural context, affected women may submit complaints to IGRC through the head of the household for review and resolution of disputes. Grievances related to environmental, construction-related or traffic management may also be submitted directly to the IGRC.
B. Hearings: The IGRC will review the grievance cases and meeting within the stipulated time line. The AP or his/her representative may appear the at the IGRC meeting to explain and or clarify any issue. If required GRC committee may conduct additional field investigations prior to the decision on specific cases or dispute. The decisions by IGRC may be made by a simple majority; however, decision in case of complex and sensitive cases must be based on a two-third majority. If the disputant/complainant still remains unsatisfied, he/she can go to the formal court of law. In cases where court cases are prolonged beyond project period, the compensation money will be deposited in a WAPDA escrow account to be paid to the complainant.
C. Documentation and Disclosure: IGRC will maintain proper record on the grievances and disputes -- for example, date of the complaints, particulars of the complainant, description of the grievance, and actions to be taken. The complaints received in writing will be entered and properly recorded and documented. The meeting minutes of IGRCs will be dully recorded and decisions made will be properly entered as a case record. All documents of IGRC (and those coming out of Jirga meeting/resolutions) will be maintained by the IGRC secretariat for review and verification by WAPDA, WB, International Panel of Experts (IPOE) and independent external monitor. Member/Secretary of the IGRC will be responsible for maintaining the case records and will act as the Secretariat of the IGRC.
D. Notification: The outcomes of IGRC deliberations and decisions will be notified in written form by the Member-Secretary to the aggrieved party within the stipulated time line. The decisions taken are mandatory on the WAPDA with regard to any additional awards or compensation to be paid to the disputants. The awards by IGRCs will be paid to the parties within 30 days by the Member-Secretary of the IGRC. The Member-Secretary will prepare annual evaluation of the GRC processes to determine the quality of the processes and operations and the outcomes of the cases, including analysis of the results. The evaluation will consider all cases received and resolved and analyze the outcomes using relevant key indicators.