EIA of the Guwahati Ropeway Project, Assam, India
CIVI 464 – Environmental Impact Assessment
Professor: Prof. Zhi Chen
Submitted By: Razieh Hashemi
Student No. : 40043362
1.0 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………….1
1.1 OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF STUDY……………………………………………………………………2
1.2 EIA METHODOLOGY………………………………………………………………………………………..2
1.3 STRUCTURE OF THE EIA REPORT ………………………………………………………………………2
1.4 ADDRESSAL OF TOR…………………………………………………………………………………………3
2.0 Project Description………………………………………………………………………………………….6
2.1 NEED AND JUSTIFICATION FOR PROJECT……………………………………………………………7
2.2 TRAFFIC PROJECTION AND SYSTEM CAPACITY……………………………………………………7
2.3 SITE SELECTION CRITERIA………………………………………………………………………………..9
2.4 ALTERNATE SITES…………………………………………………………………………………………..9
2.5 PROPOSED ALIGNMENT…………………………………………………………………………………10
2.6 SELECTION OF ROPEWAY SYSTEM……………………………………………………………………11
2.7 DESCRIPTION OF ROPEWAY SYSTEM………………………………………………………………..12
2.8 FINANCIAL VIABILITY OF PROJECT…………………………………………………………………..12
2.9 LITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURAL FACILITIES………………………………………………………..13
3.0 Baseline Environmental Status of the Area……………………………………………………….14
3.1 METHODOLOGY OF CONDUCTING BASELINE STUDY………………………………………….14
3.2 AIR ENVIRONMENT……………………………………………………………………………………….15
3.2.1 Climate and Meteorology …………………………………………………………………………..15
3.2.2 Ambient Air Quality in Study area ………………………………………………………………..18
3.3 NOISE ENVIRONMENT…………………………………………………………………………………..24
3.4 TRAFFIC PATTERN & DENSITY…………………………………………………………………………27
3.5 WATER ENVIRONMENT…………………………………………………………………………………30
3.5.1 Hydro-geological Settings …………………………………………………………………………..30
3.5.2 Baseline Water Quality & Sampling Locations ………………………………………………31
3.6 LAND ENVIRONMENT…………………………………………………………………………….36
3.6.1 Geology of the Area ……………………………………………………………………………36
3.6.2 Sub Surface Geology …………………………………………………………………………..36
3.6.3 Geomorphology of the project area ……………………………………………………..37
3.6.4 Relief and Drainage …………………………………………………………………………….38
3.6.5 Seismo-Tectonic Appr aisal of the Area …………………………………………………39
3.6.6 Soil …………………………………………………………………………………………………..39
3.7 ECOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT…………………………………………………………………..42
3.7.1 Habitat Assessment ……………………………………………………………………………42
3.7.2 Terrestrial Ecology …………………………………………………………………………….43
3.7.3 Faunal Diversity ………………………………………………………………………………..48
3.7.4 Aquatic Ecology ………………………………………………………………………54
3.8 SOCIO ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT……………………………………………………………57
3.8.1 Socio-Economic Profile …………………………………………………………….58
3.8.2 Project Location and study area ……………………………………………….58
3.8.3 Demographic structure …………………………………………………………….59
1. Executive Summary
Guwahati is the gateway to the northeastern region. Due to its excellent connectivity and unique geographical location, this region is experiencing rapid growth of trade and commerce and it has the potential to become the hinterland for the entire northeastern region. The major growth of the city is now aimed at north Guwahati due to shortage of land at the southern part. The two banks of the river are connected through road and water transport. However, the means of transportation between the two banks needs to be improved to support growth of the city along the north bank.
The Government of Assam has thus taken initiative for the development of ropeway project across Brahmaputra River to connect Guwahati city situated on the south bank to the north bank. The Government of Assam has subsequently designated Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) to execute the project.
The proposed project falls under Item 7 (g) (Aerial Ropeways) and is a designated project under Schedule and falls under category B of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification dated 14th September, 2006 and requires clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests in the absence of State Environment Impact Assessment Authority. The EIA study has been done as per the TOR provided by MoEF dated 2nd September, 2008.
A Rapid Environment Impact Assessment (REIA) study report has been prepared for this project based on baseline environmental quality data collected for winter season’08 for the study area. Identification and prediction of significant environmental impacts due to the proposed ropeway with an Environmental Impact Statement followed by delineation of appropriate impact mitigation measures in an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) are included in the REIA Report.
2. Problem Statement, Project Need and Advantages
Guwahati is the gateway to the northeastern region. Due to its excellent connectivity and unique geographical location, this region is experiencing rapid growth of trade and commerce. The population of Guwahati city is expanding at a high rate. The region also experiences flow of large volume of goods pertaining not only to the state of Assam but also to the other parts of the northeastern region. Additionally, substantial number of students and workers from the rest of the state and rest of the NE region come to Guwahati on regular basis. The situation has further deteriorated due to a limited road network and carriageway resulting in perpetual congestion on the main as well as arterial roads within the city. The two banks of the river are connected through road and water transport. The road bridge takes a detour of 20 km and the travel time is about 1 hour. The ferry boats are very less in number and cannot cater to the needs of the future population. Considering the expansion of the city on the north bank, an efficient transport system is required to connect the two banks. The location of the proposed project is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Project Location
Looking into these aspects, the future growth of the city is planned along the north bank. At present, the connectivity of the banks of the river is through private and state owned transport buses and ferry services operated by Department of Inland Water Transport, Assam. There is a road bridge across the river, which leads to NH – 31 and connects the north and south bank. The NH-31 and the road in the main city are quite congested and during peak hours it takes about one to two hours to cross the river. The road connectivity of the two banks is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Road Connectivity of North Bank and South Bank
2.1. Objectives and Scope of Study
The proposed project falls under Item Aerial Ropeways and is a designated project under Schedule and falls under category B of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification dated 14th September 2006 and requires clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests in the absence of State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.
The purpose of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study is to provide information on the nature and extent of environmental impacts arising from the construction and operation of the proposed project and related activities taking place concurrently.
The objectives of the EIA study are as follows:
To describe the proposed project and associated works together with the requirements for carrying out the proposed development;
To establish the baseline environmental and social scenario of the project surroundings;
iii) To identify and describe the elements of the community and environment likely to be affected by the proposed developments;
iv) To identify, predict and evaluate environmental and social impacts expected to raise during the construction and operation phase of the project in relation to the sensitive receptors;
v) To develop mitigation measures so as to minimize pollution, environmental disturbance and nuisance during construction and operations of the development; and
vi) To design and specify the monitoring and auditing requirements necessary to ensure the implementation and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures adopted.
vii) To prepare disaster management plan to deal with emergency situations.
The EIA study has been carried out as per the MoEF guidelines. The EIA methodology for the proposed project has been described in Figure 3.
Attributes of the physical environment like air, water, soil, and noise quality in the surrounding area were assessed, primarily through field studies, and by undertaking monitoring and analysis of samples collected from the field.
Figure 3: EIA Methodology
Information about geology, hydrology, prevailing natural hazards like earthquakes, etc. have been collected from literature reviews and authenticated information made available by government departments. Extensive surveys were carried out to understand and record the biological environment prevailing in the area and the same was verified against published information and literature. The socioeconomic environment has been studied through extensive consultations with various stakeholders with a strong focus on the neighboring villages. Additionally, socioeconomic data has been obtained from the Census and various government departments.
Environmental Setting of The Study Area
The baseline environmental status was assessed based on primary and secondary data collected either through in-site field observation or obtained from agencies such as IMD, Geological Survey of India, State Ground Water Department, Central Ground Water Board, State Pollution Control Board, Census of India and Local Forest Department.
The baseline status collated from analysis of secondary and primary data is summarized.
Table 1: Baseline Environmental Status
Attribute Baseline status
Meteorology A meteorological station was set up on site. The minimum temperature recorded was 12.6 °C and maximum temperature was found to be 31.2 °C during the study period (Winter season’08). The average wind speed was observed to be 1.22 m/s and the predominant wind direction was observed to be northeasterly
Ambient Air Quality Ambient air quality was monitored at 5 locations. The observed SPM levels were in the range of 89 to 265.0 ?g/m3, while RSPM was in the range of 41 to 123 ?g/m3. The range of SO2 and NOX was 5-11.0 ?g/m3 and 5 to 23 ?g/m3 respectively. Observed SPM levels exceeded NAAQS at three locations and RSPM levels at two locations whereas concentrations of SO2, NOx were well within the prescribed limits. CO levels were well within prescribed limits at the project site.
Noise Levels Noise monitoring was carried out at seven locations. The results of the monitoring program indicated that both the daytime and night time levels of noise exceeded the ambient noise standards at two locations and one location respectively.
Water Quality 4 Groundwater samples were analyzed. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in groundwater samples exceeded the permissible limit as per IS: 10500 at three locations (Uluburi, Paltan Bazaar, and Rajadwar village). Calcium
levels exceeded at two locations, Magnesium at all the four locations, Iron
at three locations, total alkalinity at two locations and total coliform levels
exceeded the permissible limits at two locations
Surface water samples from Brahmaputra river were analyzed at four locations. The BOD value was observed to be slightly high at three
EIA –Ropeway from South to North Guwahati, Assam
SENES/D-200276/May09 E-5 GMDA locations. Rest all parameters were within limits as per Class C standards for water quality.
Soil Quality The proposed site is characterized by clayey soils. The results show that the moisture retention capacity of the soil is low. The soil of the area is slightly basic.
Environment The proposed site falls within the biogeographic Zone – Brahmaputra
Valley of India. Reserve forests like Phatasil Reserve forest, Sila Reserve Forest Agyathuri Reserve Forest, South Kalapahar and Dirgheshwari pahar are located at a distance of 4.4 km, 5.5 km, 7.2 km, 3.9 km and 4.5 km away Brahmaputra river is famous for fresh water dolphin that is Ganges river dolphin (Platanista gangetica) which is commonly known as Susus. It has been declared as an endangered mammal by IUCN Red List-2008.
Socio-economy The proposed sit will link Guwahati and north Guwahati are the two circles. Work participation rate is 35.1 % and proportion of category of “other workers” is 96.8%.
Impact Assessment and Management Plan
Environmental impact due to the construction and operation stages of the project were predicted quantitatively using models such as ISCST3 for air dispersion calculations, noise propagation equations for noise impacts. Impacts were also evaluated qualitatively using engineering judgment and best management practices.
Adequate environmental management measures will be incorporated during planning, construction and operating stages of the project to minimize any adverse environmental impact and assure sustainable development of the area. The impacts during construction phase will be temporal in nature. The summary details the pollution sources, mitigation measures for operation phase for different components.
Water Environment: The major impact on the water environment during the construction phase of the project will be the impact on water quality due to the introduction of construction materials in the river system and deposition of materials. Temporary barriers of GI sheets will be constructed along the construction area to contain the impacts. The navigational activities will also get slightly disrupted but the impact will be mitigated by phasing the construction activities.
During operation phase, the navigational activities will not be impacted as necessary horizontal and vertical clearances have been provided. The water demand for the project has been estimated at 15.61 m3/day and will be sourced from the municipal supply. About 11.7 m3/day of wastewater will be generated and will be discharged to the municipal sewer.
Land Environment: The construction activities for the proposed project will involve the construction of terminal stations. No impact on the land use is expected as the areas of the terminals comprise of abandoned land. The waste generated during the construction will be effectively managed.
During operation phase, the proposed project will generate about 0.52 MT/day of waste. The adequate number of collection points will be provided and the waste will be handed over to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation.
Ecological Environment: The proposed project will have a minor impact on the terrestrial and aquatic ecology during the construction and operation phase. During the construction phase, there will a minor impact due to pollution and disturbance caused. No tree cutting is involved in the project. The proposed alignment does not coincide with the route of migratory birds and thus will not have any impact. No impact on the river dolphins is expected.
Socioeconomic Environment: The proposed project will not have any impact on the archaeological sites as no action is proposed at the Urbashi Island which is protected by the Archaeology Department. The Umananda Island comprises of a temple and no impact is expected as no boarding/deboarding operations are expected. The services of ferryboat operators will continue to be used as the ropeway only targets office goers and businessmen and the villagers and fishermen will continue to avail their services.
Air Environment: The construction activities for the proposed terminal stations will be of a small-scale and thus the particulate emissions will be minimal and short-term in nature. The dust generated during the construction phase on the river bed and island will be considerably reduced due to localized meteorological conditions.
During the operation phase, the project will involve operation of one DG set of 300 kVA and 10 KVA only for emergency evacuation during the power failure. The predicted incremental concentrations have been estimated to be negligible. The DG set will be provided with an adequate stack height of 7 m and 4 m.
Noise Environment: The use of construction equipment will lead to increased sound pressure levels. It is proposed to implement job rotation and to limit the time of operation along with providing earplugs in areas of high noise exposure.
The operation of the cable car system will lead to noise emissions due to movement of the cable car. The impact due to movement of cable car will be minor and short-term in nature. Thus, no impact is envisaged on the noise environment.
4. Case Study and Baseline Environmental Status
This chapter describes the existing environmental settings in the study area. In order to identify any potential impact on and changes to the natural and socioeconomic environments, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the nature of those existing environments prior to commencement of the proposed activities. This translates as a need to characterize the existing baseline environmental and socio-economic conditions including establishing the prevailing conditions for a range of media through primary monitoring, undertaking focused surveys, and the collection of secondary information from various published sources. This includes the physical environment comprising air, water and land components, the biological environment, and socio-economic environment. The major purposes of describing the environmental settings of the study area are:
• To understand the environmental characteristics of the area;
• To assess the existing environmental quality, as well as the environmental impacts of the future developments being studied;
• To identify environmentally significant factors or geographical areas that could influence any decision about future development.
The following section describes the methodology for the baseline studies in detail.
4.1 Methodology of Conducting Baseline Study
Attributes of the physical environment like air, water, soil, and noise quality in the surrounding area were assessed, primarily through field studies, and by undertaking monitoring and analysis of samples collected from field. Information about geology, hydrology, prevailing natural hazards like earthquakes, etc. have been collected from literature reviews and authenticated information made available by government departments. Extensive surveys were carried out to understand and record the biological environment prevailing in the area and the same was verified against published information and literature. The socioeconomic environment has been studied through extensive consultations with various stakeholders with a strong focus on the neighboring villages. Additionally, socioeconomic data has been obtained from the Census and various government departments.
The scoping and the extent of data generation were formulated with interdisciplinary team discussions, criteria questions and professional judgment. The study area for undertaking baseline studies has been taken as 5 km on either side of the alignment. However, based on the initial survey, the understanding of the project, and professional judgment, the study area for the primary baseline studies and intensive data collection was taken as 2 km on either side of the alignment.
4.2 Air Environment
The existing quality of the air environment serves as an index for assessing the pollution load and the assimilative capacity of any region and forms an important tool for planning project activity in the area. Primary ambient air quality data was collected for winter season (December 2008) to understand the air quality in the region and to assess the impacts on air environment.
4.2.1 Climate and Meteorology
Climate and meteorology of a place can play an important role in the implementation of any developmental project. Meteorology is also the key to understand local air quality as there is an essential relationship between meteorology and atmospheric dispersion involving wind in the broadest sense of the term.
Guwahati’s climate is mildly sub-tropical with warm, dry summers from April to late May, a strong monsoon from June to September and cool, dry winters from late October to March. December, January and February are the coldest and June, July, August and September are the hottest. Extreme high level of humidity is observed in summers leading to discomfort.
Secondary data has been collected from various sources including data from Guwahati station of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). Guwahati experiences a mild subtropical climate.
Meteorological information is important for devising baseline ambient air quality monitoring plans and for the prediction of impacts from air quality modeling. At Guwahati, a meteorological station was installed to monitor parameters of wind speed and direction and temperature. Hourly meteorological data was collected for one season (winter, December 2008).
Long-term climate trend data was obtained from Guwahati, IMD meteorological station located at the Bhorjar airfield. The area around the station is plain, surrounded by hills, about 9 km from the Bramhaputra.
Long Term Climate Trends
The following section discusses the long-term climate trend of secondary data collected for the station located at the Bhorjar airfield in Guwahati over the period of 1951-1980. This data, along with the data obtained from onsite has been used in air dispersion modeling. The climatological summary for Guwahati is provided in Table 2.
TABLE 2: CLIMATOLOGCIAL SUMMARY FOR IMD STATION AT GUWAHATI (1951-1980)
Near Surface Temperature:
Guwahati has mild subtropical weather conditions. Summers are warm and dry whereas winters exhibit cool and dry conditions. The mean daily minimum temperature at Guwahati occurs in January (9.8 °C) and the mean daily maximum temperature occurs in August (32.1°C).
Wind Direction: Wind direction is reported as the direction from which the wind blows and is based on surface observations. Over the course of a year, wind usually blows in all directions, with varying frequencies. Certain directions occur more frequently than others – these are known as the prevailing wind directions. On an average, over the course of a year, the prevailing winds are from the northeast direction approximately 21 percent of the time. Calms (i.e. wind speed less than 1 knot or 0.51444 m/s) are reported 41 percent of the time.
Data Table 3 provides averages of temperature, rainfall, and wind speed over the winter season during which monitoring was done.
TABLE 3: METEOROLOGICAL MONITORING DATA
4.2.2 Ambient Air Quality in Study area
An assessment of baseline air quality was undertaken to establish the status of exposure of the receptors. This assessment was accomplished by examining sources of air emissions within the study area, and by conducting a site–specific background–sampling program.
Site–specific Background Air Quality Monitoring
A site–specific background air quality monitoring program was conducted for one season (pre-monsoon season). Background data was collected for SPM, RSPM, SO2, NOx and CO.
Five sampling stations were located in the study area to provide the surrounding baseline air quality. The background-monitoring program was carried out as per standard methodologies and accepted protocols as detailed by the MoEF. Air quality was monitored with four high volume samplers, for 24 hours, twice a week. Each sampler maintained a volumetric flow rate between 1-1.2 m3/min. In this manner, 24 hourly values for all pollutants were collected at each of the four locations. Analysis of pollutants was done as per standard IS codes.
Monitoring results (observed levels and ranges) of SPM, RSPM, SO2, NOx and CO are presented in the Table 4 to Table 8.
TABLE 4: MONITORING PROGRAM RESULTS – AQ1
TABLE 5: MONITORING PROGRAM RESULTS – AQ2
TABLE 6: MONITORING PROGRAM RESULTS – AQ3
TABLE 7: MONITORING PROGRAM RESULTS – AQ4
TABLE 8: MONITORING PROGRAM RESULTS – AQ5
With respect to pollutants, the results of the monitoring program indicate the following:
• The observed SPM levels obtained at three locations are beyond permissible limits
• Monitored values of RSPM are beyond permissible limits at two locations
• NOX and SO2 level observations are well within the specified standards at all the monitored locations.
• CO levels observations are also well within the specified standards at all the monitored locations
4.3 NOISE ENVIRONMENT
Unwanted noise and unpleasant sounds are generally classified as noise pollution. It is measured in decibels (dB). Normally a person begins to identify sounds when a level of 10 to 15 dB is reached. The other end of the scale is known as the threshold of pain (140 dB), or the point at which the average person experiences pain. Noise is generally measured in frequency weighted scales and noise quality measurements are generally measured in the ‘A’ level and reported as db (A). To be able to make an assessment of noise impacts, a noise monitoring study has been carried out to establish existing ambient noise quality in the study area.
Ambient Noise Quality
An assessment of baseline noise quality was undertaken to establish the status of exposure of the major sensitive receptors.
This assessment was accomplished by conducting a site–specific background–monitoring program and where appropriate, drawing comparisons to the applicable Ambient Air Quality Standards in Respect of Noise (AAQSRN).
Site-Specific Background Noise
Quality Monitoring Noise monitoring was conducted at seven locations within the study area. The background monitoring program was done in accordance with the requirements of an EIA study. Sound pressure level (SPL) measurements were automatically recorded to give the noise level for every hour continuously for 24 hours in a day.
Accordingly, three full days (i.e. 24 hourly values) of data was collected at each of the seven locations.
Table 9 and 10 air quality standards and provide equivalent noise levels viz., Leqday and Leqnight, at the noise monitoring locations, alongside noise standards as prescribed by the CPCB. Leq was calculated using the following equation:
Where Li = levels observed at n equally spaced times during interval T.
TABLE 9: AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARDS IN RESPECT OF NOISE
1. Daytime shall mean from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.
2. Night time shall mean from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.
3. Silence zone is defined as an area comprising not less than 100 meters around hospitals, educational institutions and courts. The silence zones are zones, which are declared as such by the competent authority.
4. Mixed categories of areas may be declared as one of the four above-mentioned categories by the competent authority.
TABLE 10: MONITORING PROGRAM RESULTS – NOISE
The results of the monitoring program indicated that the daytime levels of noise exceeded N2 (Umananda island) on one out of three days of the monitoring process. The daytime levels of noise exceeded the prescribed standards on all three days of the monitoring at N5 (Pan Bazar). The day time as well as the night time noise levels exceeded the prescribed standards at N6 (Kacchahari Chowk) on all the three days of monitoring.
4.5 WATER ENVIRONMENT
This section documents the baseline scenario of the water environment in the study area and discusses both water resources and quality. The data has been collected from various secondary sources and primary survey carried out in the study area.
4.5.1 Baseline Water Quality ; Sampling Locations
Water sampling and analysis has been conducted to establish baseline water quality in the area. Sampling has been done following standard guidelines for physical, chemical and bacteriological parameters. Water analysis was done as per the methods prescribed in “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (American Public Health Association)”. Four ground water and four surface water samples evaluated in the study area.
Table 11 shows the physicochemical characteristics of surface water samples as compared to CPCB Standards for Class “C” water i.e. water to be used for drinking after conventional treatment followed by disinfections. Table 12 shows the physicochemical characteristics of composite ground water sampling in the selected areas as compared with the standard (IS 10500: Indian Standards/Specifications for Drinking Water) reference values.
TABLE 11: SURFACE WATER QUALITY IN THE STUDY AREA
N.S: Not specified, N.D.: Not Detected
SW-1: Brahmaputra River near forest office bank, SW-2: Brahmaputra River near Rajadwar bank;
SW-3: Brahmaputra river, downstream of LTP, SW-2: Brahmaputra river, upstream. Of LTP
TABLE 12: GROUND WATER QUALITY IN THE STUDY AREA
ND: Not Detectable, OW: Open Well, BW: Bore well
GW-1: Water sample from Ulubari; GW-2: Water sample from Paltan Bazar;
GW-3: Water sample from Rajadwar; GW – 4: Water sample from Forest Office
Above table indicates that the groundwater quality exceeded desirable limits for drinking water with respect to Total dissolved solids at three locations (i.e. GW – 1, GW – 2 ; GW – 3), Calcium at two locations (i.e. GW-1 ; GW – 2), Magnesium at all the four locations (i.e. GW1, GW2, GW3 ; GW4), Iron at three locations (i.e. GW – 2, GW – 3 ; GW – 4), total alkalinity at two locations (i.e. GW-1 ; GW- 2) and total coliform levels exceeded the permissible limits at two locations (i.e.GW-2 ; GW-3). All the other parameters were within the prescribed limits as per IS: 10500 (Specifications for drinking water).
Surface water samples on analysis and comparison with CPCB class “C” water showed that BOD is relatively high at all the four locations as compared to the maximum allowable limit. This may be due to the discharge of untreated effluents into the river water. Surface water sample also shows the presence of Total Coliform. Rest all the parameters are within the limits of Class “C” water i.e. water to be used for drinking after conventional treatment followed by disinfections.
4.6 LAND ENVIRONMENT
4.6.1 Geology of the Area
Geologically, the Guwahati city represents a Precambrian terrain that is an extension of the Shillong plateau. Physiographically the area can be divided into three units- • The hilly region in the south, • The alluvial plains in central part and • The western parts and the swamps along Brahmaputra flood plains.
Geologically, the city is made up of the Precambrian gneissic complex, which is, directly overlain by Pleistocene-Holocene sediments. The hills are made up of the gneisses and granite bodies with quartzites, amphibolites and biotite schists; with the intermontane valleys are filled with Pleistocene-Holocene sediments. The rocks are affected by two dominant sets of joints, intruded by quartz veins, aplite and pegmatite.
The soil type found in Guwahati is mainly of sandy, silty and clay type. Soil sampling was done to establish the baseline characteristics and to assess the anticipated impacts due to proposed project.
4.7.2 Terrestrial Ecology
Guwahati falls within the biogeographic Zone – Brahmaputra Valley of India. Guwahati is situated in district Kamrup which has 1432 sq. km of forest area, comprises of
• 69 sq.km of very dense forest,
• 609 sq.km of moderately dense forest and
• 754 sq. km of open forest
The forest in this region comprises of Tropical Moist Deciduous type forests. This forest is further divided into Sal forest and mixed deciduous forest. In these forests, Sal grows in association with Ajar (Lagerstoemia species), Ghugra (Schima wallichii), Paruli (Stereospermum prsonatum), Haldu (Adina cordifolia), Sam (Artocarpus sp.), Bor (Ficus sp.), Uraim (Bischofia javanica), Gomari (Gmelina arborea), Teeta champa (Michelia champa), Poma (Toona ciliate). Efforts were focused on intensive studies of the ecological habitat, vegetation composition and the presence of faunal groups specifically around theareas where impact may occur, both during the constructional as well as the operational phase.
Assam state supports rich biodiversity. It supports rich faunal biodiversity ranging from Indo-Chinese species to peninsular Indian species. Diverse types of fauna ranging from mammals, avian species to reptiles were recorded. The existing aquatic ecology supports rich diversity due to existence of lotic and lentic water bodies. During the time of survey 11 mammalian species, 48 avian, 4 reptile and 19 species of butterflies were recorded. Some of the identification was based on secondary data like specific tasks performed by the animals, casts, trails and tracks they leave behind.
4.8 SOCIO ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT
This section discusses the baseline scenario of the socio-economic environment in the study area and the anticipated impacts of the proposed project on the socio-economic environment. The areas of discussion in this chapter are demographic structure, economic activity, education, literacy profile, land use and infrastructure resources. The assessment attempts to predict and evaluate the anticipated impacts of project upon people, their physical, psychological health and wellbeing, their economic facilities, cultural heritage, lifestyle and their value system.
4.8.1 Socio-Economic Profile
The proposed ropeway is located in Guwahati city over Brahmaputra River in the state of Assam. Assam falls in northeastern region of India and has a distinct geographical topography and Socio cultural milieu.
Assam state is administratively divided into 27 districts with its capital in Dispur .Its population is 26,655,528 spread over 78,438 sq km as per 2001 census. Boundaries of the state are shared with seven northeastern states and also with Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Guwahati is the largest city within the region. Dispur, the capital of Assam is situated within the city. It falls in Kamrup district that is spread over 4345 sq. km. with a population of 25, 22,224. It consists of Guwahati and Rangia, its two subdivisions, and 14 revenue circles.
The major economic activities are trade and commerce, transport and services. It is center of commercial activities in northeastern region.
4.8.2 Project Location and study area
The study area for assessment was defined as an area within ten km radius around the proposed project site. Designation of impact zone is based on the EIA guidelines considering the size and operation of the project. Since this project intends to develop a ropeway between Kacchari Ghat (south Guwahati) and Rajadwar (north Guwahati), the baseline study focuses on the community around the project site where people’s lives are going to change.
4.8.4 Economic Activity and Livelihood Pattern
Guwahati city is the center of economic activity in the northeast region. It’s a major trade center with Asia’s biggest tea market. Work participation rate is 35.1 % and proportion of category of “other workers” is 96.8%. Employment and business sectors are government agencies, industries, transport, trade, household industries, tourism etc.
4.8.6 Land use
The area under the Guwahati Municipal Development Authority comprises of Guwahati Municipal Corporation Area (GMCA), North Guwahati Town Committee area, Amingaon and some revenue villages. The area is known as the Guwahati metropolitan area (GMA) and covers an area of 264 sq km.
4.8.7 Primary Assessment of Proposed Project Area
Primary assessment was carried out for stakeholder analysis by means of consultations and small group discussions in order to analyze social factors that are to be taken into consideration for project planning. This exercise is carried out to identify ways to mitigate any adverse social impacts and enhance positive ones.
3.8.8 Perception of The Proposed Project by the people Consultations were held in the study area to understand the perception and concerns of the locals with regard to the proposed ropeway project. Developmental needs and aspirations of the people were understood in order to identify potential need based areas that could be addressed through the project’s socially responsible proactive initiatives and interventions. The locals were of the general view that proposed project will benefit them and expressed the following views about the project:
• Development of project will provide a facility that will decrease travelling time between north and south Guwahati.
• The scope for development in the south Guwahati is very limited due to high density of population, which is why expansion of the city will take place towards north Guwahati.
• Economic activity will increase in the north Guwahati area.
• Movement of vehicles between south and north Guwahati will decrease due to which traffic congestion on the road would decrease.
• Ferryboat operators expressed concerns regarding their business potential
• Operations of ferries and boats operations are for limited time in the evening till 5 pm and completely closed during rainy season. Therefore, the ropeway facility will be of great help to locals during the non-operation period of the boats.
5.0 Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures
This chapter focuses on identification of pollution sources due to the proposed project activity. The pollutants generated during the construction and operation phase have been assessed and quantified to estimate the level of impact and thus formulate environment management measures to mitigate theses impacts.
Chapter 3 provided the information on the baseline environmental conditions at the project site for various parameters. This chapter discusses the various pollution loads and stressors that could impact the environment and the incremental environmental impacts on the environmental parameters during the operation phase of the project.
5.1 CONSTRUCTION PHASE
The proposed ropeway will involve site clearance, construction on riverbed and construction of line towers and terminal stations on the banks of Brahmaputra River. The impacts associated with the construction phase of the proposed aerial ropeway for different environmental components are discussed below:
5.1.1 Water Environment
Impacts on Water Quality
The proposed ropeway will involve development of well foundations for two line towers which are to be constructed on the riverbed. For the line tower to be located on Umananda Island, a cofferdam will be constructed. During construction, the inorganic loading of the river may increase slightly on account of introduction construction material to the river system. Substantial amount of deposition of construction material such as cement could also take place during construction activities. The construction activities will also involve disposal of slurry resulting due to excavation activities. However, the impact will be short term in nature and will be compensated due to increased desiltation process resulting from increased flow because of construction of cofferdam.
Construction and Development of site
The development of the terminal stations could lead to stockpiling and excavation activity on site, thereby causing erosion of base soil. The run off from the site may contain high quantity of suspended solids (SS). The impact of runoff may not be very significant except during rainy season. Further construction of garland drains will reduce the runoff from the stockpiles.
During construction phase, wastewater shall be generated from labor activities on site. Wastewater generated would be characterized by high levels of BOD, SS, Nitrogen and E.Coli. Significant water quality impact may occur if the sewage is disposed of on land or any water body. Since most of the people would be deployed locally, impact from temporary make shift labor tents is not anticipated to be very high and the wastewater generated during this phase will be diverted to the sewer line.
The impact on the quality and quantity of water resources is not going to be significant as proper storage facilities will be maintained for construction materials, construction waste and oil and grease.
5.1.2 Land Environment
IMPACTS ON LAND USE AND AESTHETICS
The proposed terminal stations will be developed on the south and the north bank of the river. The south station will be developed in an area of 1260 m2 and is proposed in Guwahati city which is the hub of industrial, commercial and educational activities and there are no major visual receptors in the area. No major change in land use is envisaged. The north station is situated in a developing area and will be developed in an area of 180 m2 and will not alter the land use pattern as proposed in the land use zoning plan for 2025.
IMPACTS ON TOPOGRAPHY, DRAINAGE AND SOIL QUALITY
The terminal stations are proposed along the riverbank. The sites for the terminal stations will be leveled in accordance with the topography of the region and thus there will be no significant impact on the topography and drainage of the area. Impact on soil owing to the construction of terminals includes soil erosion, compaction, physical and chemical desegregations and pollution of soil in case of waste discharge on land. The impact will be however short term in duration and will be not significant in nature.
Wastes which are likely to be generated during the construction of towers and terminals include the following:
Construction and demolition material;
Chemical waste material; and
Construction and Demolition Waste: Construction and demolition material may contain a mixture of inert and non-inert material. Construction and demolition materials arising from the construction may include waste timber formwork, spent concrete and cement screening, and material and equipment wrappings.
Excavated materials: The excavated overburden will be used for filling and will be compacted.
Chemical Wastes: Plant and vehicle servicing will likely be the primary source of chemical wastes during the construction period. The majority of chemical waste produced is therefore expected to consist of waste oils and solvents. However volumes are expected to be less than approximately 10 liters a month.
Municipal Waste: Workers engaged during construction phase will generate municipal wastes such as food wastes, packaging and wastepaper. The waste from labor tents would be mainly household domestic waste.
Waste materials have the potential to cause adverse environmental impacts during generation, storage, transport and disposal. The principal adverse effects relate to dust, water quality, general health and safety and visual impacts. The recommended waste management plan is based upon the principle to reduce the amount of waste for disposal through the development of outline plans for waste avoidance, material re-use and recycling and is discussed in the Environment Management Plan.
5.1.3 Ecological Environment
Impacts on terrestrial Ecology
All development activities lead to impact on the existing flora and fauna. For the proposed ropeway project, construction activities will involve site clearance for construction of terminals. The area for the terminal stations comprise mainly of common shrubs, weeds and grasses and do not support any ecologically sensitive flora and fauna. The impact of construction on terrestrial ecology have been summarized in Table 13.
TABLE 13: IMPACTS ON TERRESTRIAL ECOLOGY
The proposed project may result in air, noise and water pollution, which may have an impact on the terrestrial ecology. However, the impact will last for small duration and will be minor in nature. No sensitive species for flora and fauna were recorded within the core zone during the survey. The proposed alignment does not coincide with the migratory route of birds. The noise emissions during construction phase may have a minor impact on the fauna in the surrounding areas.
Impact due to change in flow regime: The flow of water is one of the main factors that determine characteristics of freshwater ecosystems, and is critical to both their functioning and ecology. Changing the flow rate of a water body, be it an increase or decrease, can indirectly damage community adapted to the prevailing flow, and may irreversibly modify the physical and biological environment. The construction of cofferdam along Umananda Island will slightly increase the flow of water during construction phase and will have a minor negative impact on the aquatic fauna.
Impact due to Pollution: Damage to a freshwater community is most likely to occur when human activities modify the chemical environment to the extent that it is beyond the natural range for that water body. Physical pollution resulting due to construction activities may include sand removal and drilling and may affect small areas affecting limited aquatic fauna and will be compensated due to the flow of water. Hence, the impact can be ranked as minor.
5.1.4 Socio Economic Environment
The construction activities at site will lead to temporary disruption in movement of ferries and boats. The likely impacts on the socio economic environment have been discussed below:
Impact on ferryboats and navigational activities: During construction phase, the movement of country boats and steamers will get affected. However, the construction will be carried out in a phased manner so that minimum disturbance is caused to the navigational activities taking place along the river. The movement of ferry boats may also get disrupted for a short duration of time but will be suitably addressed by devising an alternate temporary route for the ferry boats.
Impact on Historical, Archaeological and Architectural Sites: One line tower is proposed at Umananda Island, which comprises of a centurial old temple of Lord Shiva. The construction activities will be carried out in such a way that the impact on the historical site is minimal. The Urbashi Island located at a distance of 441 m away from the south bank comprises of sculptures of the East India Company and the Island is protected by the Archaeological Department, Government of India. The proposed alignment does noyt involve any construction on the Urbashi Island and thus no impact I envisaged on the archaelogical site.
Displacement: The proposed terminal stations will not involve any displacement of population and hence no resettlement and rehabilitation issues are involved.
5.1.5 Air Environment
The construction activities for the proposed terminal stations will be of small scale and thus the particulate emissions will be minimal and short term in nature. For the construction of line towers the generation of the dust will be low as compared to the construction of terminal stations. Moreover, the dust generated during the construction phase on the river bed and island will be considerably reduced due to localized meteorological conditions. The impact of other pollutants such as SO2, NOx and CO will be caused due to diesel-operated mechanical equipment and their impact is expected to be negligible and of short term duration. As the impact during construction phase is expected to be minimal and of short-term duration, the air quality modelling exercise has not been performed for the quantitative impact assessment during this phase.
5.1.6 Noise Environment
The noise emission sources during construction phase will include construction machineries/equipment to be employed at site. The expected noise levels from the operation of equipment and machinery are provided in Table 14 below:
TABLE 14: NOISE LEVELS GENERATED FROM CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT
Since the proposed plant does not involve extensive construction works, the noise levels during this phase are not expected to be significant. The mitigation measures will include job rotation and provision of earmuffs in high noise areas.
5.2 OPERATIONAL PHASE
The operation phase of the proposed project will involve passenger movement and ropeway operation. The impacts associated with the operation phase of the project have been discussed in the following sections.
5.2.1 Water Environment
Water demand during the operational phases has been estimated on the basis of various activities proposed as per project master plan and associated consumption pattern. The total water requirement for the proposed project has been estimated to be 15.6 m3/day and will be sourced from municipal water supply and therefore will not have any impact on the water resources of the area.
WASTEWATER QUANTIFICATION AND CHARACTERISTICS
During operation phase, it is assumed that 80 % of the water supplied will be discharged as wastewater (Source: Manual on Sewerage and Sewage treatment, published by Government of India). Approximately 11.61 m3/day of wastewater will be generated. The wastewater generation has been categorized under two sources:
Gray water (wastewater generated from various activities, except for the wastewater produced from the toilet flushing)
Black water (wastewater generated from the toilet)
Wastewater generated is expected to have characteristics and pollution load as shown in Table 15.
The wastewater with the foresaid characteristics can neither be discharged into inland surface water nor reused or recycled. The wastewater generated will be diverted to the municipal sewer and no major impact is expected on the water quality in the region.
TABLE 15: EXPECTED WASTEWATER CHARACTERISTICS
Source: Manual on Sewerage and Sewage Treatment, Govt. of India
5.2.2 Land Environment
During operation phase, solid waste will be generated by ropeway users. The solid waste generated from the proposed project has been estimated as shown in Table 16.
TABLE 16: SOLID WASTE GENERATION FROM PROPOSED PROJECT
The above table indicates that a total of 0.52 MT/day of waste will be generated due to the proposed development. The waste generated will be handed over to Guwahati Municipal Corporation.
5.2.3 Ecological Environment
Potential impacts of project operation on terrestrial and aquatic ecology include increased noise and disturbance from the operation of the cable car including maintenance, glare/lighting impact of structures (towers and cables) on bird species and positive impact to aquatic flora and fauna due to reduction in passenger ferry boats. This section of the report considers the potential impact of project on terrestrial and aquatic ecology during the operation phase of ropeway.
The potential impact of project during the operation phase on terrestrial ecology include disturbance generated by aerial lighting in project area during working hour at night. No impact is expected on the migratory birds as the ropeway alignment does not interfere with the migratory route of birds. The major impact will be on mammals and birds whose breeding cycle depends upon light period. Their breeding cycle will get altered due to change in light period. Sound and air pollution produced by D.G set will cause unrest to mammals, birds and insect who’s breeding and mating depends upon mating call. Frogs and reptiles having niches near the machine room will be permanently disturbed, unless they establish new habitats.
The construction of the ropeway will also reduce the number of vehicles travelling between north and south Guwahati, resulting in decrease in air pollution and will thus have a minor positive impact on the terrestrial ecology.
The impact on aquatic ecology will be positive impact resulting from reduction in transportation of ferries, plying along the banks of the river. The ferry boats add pollutants in the form of oil and grease spillage from engines. The ropeway operation will reduce the pressure on water bodies. It will also have positive impact on river dolphins which surfaces every 30- 120 second for breathing. Thus the overall impact on aquatic ecology will be significantly positive.
5.2.4 Socio Economic Environment
The potential impacts envisaged due to the project activities have been detailed below:
Ferry operations: It is expected that only 30 % of the commuters will use the ropeway as the terminal station for the proposed ropeway along the south bank is near Kacharighat, which is away from the major markets. In addition, the ferryboats allow passengers to carry their vehicles and goods which will not be allowed in the ropeway.
Devotees visiting the Shiva Temple at Umananda Island will also be using the services of the ferryboats as no boarding/deboarding facility is proposed along the Island. Thus, a considerable amount of population will continue to avail the facilities of the ferryboats and hence no major impact is envisaged.
Growth pattern of north Guwahati: The proposed ropeway will improve the connectivity of north bank and will help in the growth of the city along north bank.
Culture and Heritage: No boarding/ deboarding activities have been planned at Umananda Island keeping in view the heritage of the area. The ropeway project is conceived keeping in mind the convenience of people commuting between south and north Guwahati on regular basis and devotees visiting Doul Govinda temple in north Guwahati. Therefore it will in fact augment the available mode of transportation for the tourist and devotees interested in visiting the temple.
Additional Revenues for Government: Proper connectivity by ropeway will lead to new establishments and business avenues in north Guwahati and will create more jobs for the local community.
Demography: Proposed project does not envisage in any permanent residential facility so there will be no change in demographic structure of the area.
Impact on accessing utilities: The resources available to locals will not be affected in any way as there is no provision of residential facility.
5.2.5 Air Environment
The operation of the proposed ropeway will not involve major air emissions. Ropeway operation is an environmentally efficient non-polluting transport system. Two DG sets of capacity 300 KVA and 10 KVA are proposed at the lower and upper terminal stations for backup power supply. The DG set will be installed, which will be the major source of pollution for the proposed project. The proposed ropeway operation will not cause any significant effect on the ambient air environment.
In order to assess the impact on the air environment due to the DG sets, air quality modelling exercise has been carried out using USEPA(United State Environmental Protection Agency) and MoEF approved model ISCST (Industrial Source Complex Short Term) version 3. The ISCST3 model is a Gaussian plume model and is widely used to assess pollution concentration and/or deposition flux on receptors from a wide variety of sources. The air quality model has been used to predict concentrations of specific pollutants (SPM, SO2, NOx and CO).
As a worst-case scenario, emissions have been predicted assuming an operation time of 24 hours. Tables 17 provide the predicted concentrations of pollutants.
TABLE 17: PREDICTED INCREMENTAL AND RESULTANT GROUND LEVEL CONCENTRATIONS IN µg/m3
Based on the modelling exercise under observed meteorological condition, maximum predicted concentrations of SPM, NOx and SO2 averaged over 24 hours are predicted 0.77, 23.4 and 3.5 µg/m3 respectively and occurred in the southwest direction from the DG set located at the lower terminal station at a distance of about 283 m. However, maximum CO concentration averaged over 8 hours is predicted to be 18.2 µg/m3 and occurred at a distance 100 m in the east direction of the 300 KVA DG set location. The maximum resultant concentrations for NOx, SO2, and CO are well within the prescribed norm, but the maximum resultant concentration for SPM exceeds the prescribed limit. The exceedance of the SPM limit is attributed to the very high observed background concentration of the SPM. The impact on the air quality due to DG set operations is expected to be negligible.
The proposed ropeway operation will always lead to reduction in traffic between north and south Guwahati and will have a minor positive impact on the air environment. The overall impact due to the proposed ropeway will be minor positive.
5.2.6 Noise Environment
During operation phase, the major sources of noise generation will be:
Mechanical equipment for ropeway operation
Movement of ropeway
DG set to be used in case of emergency
FIGURE 4: VARIATION NOISE LEVELS AROUND CABLE CAR WITHOUT CONTROL
As the continuous noise source will be expected from the movement of ropeway, hence the noise impact assessment is carried out for this source only. A noise assessment has been undertaken to define the nature and scale of potential environmental impacts associated with the implementation of the proposed ropeway specifically in terms of the effects in the vicinity of receivers. To assess the noise impact, noise modelling has been carried with the DHAWANI model. The modelling exercise has been performed with the unmitigated noise level of 75 dB (A) at 1m distance from the ropeway at landing points. The model results predicted the variation of the noise level with distance from the source as shown in the Figure. 4.
The modelling results reveals that noise level would be 44 dB (A) at a distance of about 25 m from the source and keep on decreasing with the distance. The noise level reduced to 34 dBA at about 125 m from the source that is less than the ambient noise quality standard for residential area (55 dB (A) in day time and 45 dB (A) in night time). Based on the noise modelling study, it may be concluded that the waiting room for the passenger should be located at a minimum distance of 125 m from the cable car.
5.3 SUMMARY OF IMPACTS
The potential impacts arising due to construction and operational activities of proposed facility have been summarised in Table 18.
TABLE 18: SUMMARY OF IMPACTS DURING CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION PHASE
S. N Components Aspect Potential Impact
Water quality •Deposition of construction material along riverbed
•Disposal of slurry
•Disposal of wastewater generated from temporary labour tents • No significant negative impact
• Short term negative impact
• No significant impact
2 Navigational Activities • Impact on steamers and double
• Impact on ferry boats • Short term negative impact
• Short term negative impact
3 Land use and Aesthetics • Land development • No significant impact
4 Topography, drainage and soil quality • Site development
• Solid waste • No significant impact
5 Ecological Environment • Impact on benthic fauna
• Impact due to pollution and disturbance • Minor negative impact
• Short term negative impact
6 Socio Economic Environment • Impact on ferry boats and navigational activities
• Impact on archaeological and cultural sites • Short term negative impact
• No significant impact
Air Quality • Emissions from construction equipment and transportation of constriction materials • Minor negative impact
8 Noise Environment • Noise Emissions from construction equipment and activities and DG se • Minor negative impact
• Short term negative impact
S. N Components Aspect Potential Impact
1 Water Quality • Use of water resources
• Wastewater generation • Minor negative impact
• Negative impact
2 Solid waste • Generation of 0.51 MT/day of solid waste • Negative impact
3 Ecological Environment • Bird Collision with towers and cable • Impact due to reduced oil spillages on aquatic ecology Minor negative impact
Minor positive impact
4 Socio Economic Environment Increased development along north bank
• Impact on ferry boats
• Impact on archaeological sites • Major positive impact
Minor negative impact
• Negative impact
5 Air environment • Emissions from DG sets (emergency use)
• Improvement in air quality due to reduced number of vehicles • Minor negative impact
• Significant positive impact
6 Noise environment • Noise emissions from machinery and movement of cable car Minor negative impact
6.0 Conclusion and Recommendation for Environment Management Plan
The Environmental Management Plan (EMP) is a site specific plan developed to ensure that the project is implemented in an environmental sustainable manner where all contractors and subcontractors, including consultants, understand the potential environmental risks arising from the proposed project and take appropriate actions to properly manage that risk. EMP also ensures that the project implementation is carried out in accordance with the design by taking appropriate mitigative actions to reduce adverse environmental impacts during its life cycle. The plan outlines existing and potential problems that may adversely impact the environment and recommends corrective measures where required. Also, the plan outlines roles and responsibility of the key personnel and contractors who are charged with the responsibility to manage the proposed project site.
The EMP is generally:
Prepared in accordance with rules and requirements of the MoEF/SEIAA and the State Pollution Control Board;
To ensure that the component of facility are operated in accordance with the design;
A process that confirms proper operation through supervision and monitoring;
A system that addresses public complaints during construction and operation of the facility; and
A plan that ensures remedial measures are implemented immediately.
The key benefits of the EMP are that it provides the organization with means of managing its environmental performance thereby allowing it to contribute to improved environmental quality. The other benefits include cost control and improved relations with the stakeholders.
EMP includes four major elements;
Commitment & Policy: The proposed project management will strive to provide and implement the Environmental Management Plan that incorporates all issues related to air, land and water.
Planning: This includes identification of environmental impacts, legal requirements and setting environmental objectives. The various potential impacts are discussed under Section 4.0.
Implementation: This comprises of resources available to the developers, accountability of contractors, training of operational staff associated with environmental control facilities and documentation of measures to be taken.
Measurement & Evaluation: This includes monitoring, corrective actions, and record keeping.
It is suggested that as part of the EMP, a monitoring committee should be formed comprising of the site in-charge/coordinator and project implementation team representative. This committee’s role would be to ensure proper operation and management of the EMP including the regulatory compliance.
6.1 CONSTRUCTION PHASE
6.1.1 Water Environment
The construction activities along the riverbed will be carried out in a phased manner and will last only for a short duration. The following measures will be implemented to mitigate the impacts of construction activities on the water quality:
• The construction activities shall be carried out in the dry season
• Care shall be taking during the drilling activities to ensure that the construction materials are not introduced in the river system.
• Preventing spread of contaminated water by installing temporary barriers of G.I sheets.
• The slurry resulting from drilling activities shall be disposed of in the downstream portion of the river along the section having maximum flow to make use of dilution effect.
• The deposition of construction materials along the riverbed shall be compensated by the increased flow resulting due to the construction of cofferdam during this phase.
For construction of terminal stations, adequate control measures have been proposed to prevent degradation and maintain the quality of the water source, to check the surface run-off. Following management measures are suggested to protect the water quality during the construction phase.
• Avoid excavation during monsoon season
• Check dams will be provided to prevent construction runoff from the site
• Wastewater generated from temporary labor tents will be diverted to the sewer network in the area
• To prevent surface and ground water contamination by oil/grease, leak proof containers will be used for storage and transportation of oil/grease. The floors of oil/grease handling area will be kept effectively impervious.
6.1.2 Land Environment
The waste generated from construction activity includes construction debris, biomass from land clearing activities and waste from the labor camp. Following section discusses the management of each type of waste.
Construction Waste Management: The recommended waste management plan is based upon the waste management principle to reduce the amount of waste for disposal through the development of outline plans for waste avoidance, material re-use and recycling. Mitigation measures are proposed to alleviate the impacts caused by the excavated materials and residual wastes during their handling, temporary storage on site, transportation and final disposal.
Waste management procedures will be implemented to minimize potential impacts to the environment. This may be achieved by consideration and application of the following:
Avoid and/or minimize waste generation wherever practical by changing its quality or site procedures (allow excavated material for backfilling in other locations simultaneously);
Maximize the opportunity for reusing/recycling/recovering materials and thereby negate/minimize the disposal requirements (e.g. by waste segregation according to type, separation of recyclable materials such as metal, maximize reuse of timber formwork wherever possible, utilization of excavated material for filling or landscaping); and
Ensure that all treatment and disposal options comply with all relevant guidelines and legislation.
Construction and Demolition Waste: The following practices will be followed to minimize the construction and demolition waste:
Segregate waste materials according to types to facilitate re-use and recycling;
Separate inert construction and demolition materials;
Segregate different materials at source as far as practical;
Co-ordinate material deliveries to minimize storage times on site to avoid damage and producing waste material; and
Provide training to site staff in waste minimization practices
The responsibility of transporting and disposing construction and demolition waste will be of the contractor and will be transported to an authorized site.
Excavated Material: The following measures will be implemented to mitigate against the likely adverse impacts to the environment:
excavated material and sites will be covered to prevent washout and erosion during heavy rainfall;
dust suppression techniques will be adopted ;
silt traps will be provided in the surface drainage system in the stockpile area;
designated areas for stockpiling will be fenced
The excavated material will be used for filling and will be compacted.
Municipal Waste: A temporary refuse collection facility will be set-up by the contractor and wastes will be stored in appropriate containers prior to collection and disposal.
The waste management plan for construction phase has been summarised in Table 19.
TABLE 19: WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN – CONSTRUCTION PHASE
Waste Management Plan
Detailed Design Stage
Maximizing the re-use of excavated materials;
Reuse of excavated materials, topsoil, vegetation etc.;
Providing an area within the construction site to allow for sorting and segregation of materials.
minimization of waste generation for disposal (via reduction/recycling/re-use);
segregating waste materials according to type to facilitate re-use and recycling;
separation of inert construction and demolition materials for r re-use on-site or to be dumped in authorised site;
during demolition works, segregating materials at source as far as practical;
co-ordinate material deliveries to site in order to minimise storage times on site and the likelihood of causing damage;
training site staff in waste minimisation practices;
transport of wastes off site as soon as possible;
maintenance of comprehensive accurate waste records;
use of re-useable metal boarding / signboards;
no on-site burning will be permitted
6.1.3 Ecological Environment
The following measures are suggested to mitigate the impacts o construction phase on the aquatic ecology:
Construction of temporary barriers using GI sheets around the construction area (LTP and UTP).
Construction should be avoided during night time. Aerial lighting should be avoided overnight.
During construction on Umananda Island, care should be taken that no unnecessary removals of vegetation, tree chopping and cutting are involved.
Following management measures are recommended:
Avoid major construction during monsoon, because fishes migrate and breed during monsoon season.
Barrier should be constructed in river by using G I sheet prior to construction. This will avoid mortality of aquatic fauna during drilling operation and other construction activities
Barrier should encompass small area of river bed so that major flow of river is not altered.
6.1.4 Socio Economic Environment
Income Generation Opportunity for Local Community
The proposed project would provide employment opportunities to the local community during construction phase. Specific consideration would be given for the employment of locals. Requirement of construction material and services will be sourced from local dealers and traders.
Safety and Health Safeguards for the workers
Considering the nature of work, proper equipment and safety gears will be provided to the workers. Occupational health and safety standards will be followed as per guidelines of Factories Act 1948.
Barricading and signboards
Construction area will be barricaded and signboards will be displayed which will provide requisite information to the neighboring communities about the construction activity and vehicle movement for transportation of construction material.
6.1.5 Air Environment
The main source of air emissions during this phase is anticipated is dust emissions from material loading and unloading, site development activities and vehicular movement. However the dust generated during the construction phase will be considerably reduced by localized meteorological conditions. The impact of other pollutants such as SO2, NOx and CO due to operation of mechanical equipment are expected to be negligible and thus no major control measures are required. The following procedural changes to construction activities are suggested to reduce vehicular emissions:
Idling Time Reduction – Construction equipment is commonly left idling while the operators are on break or waiting for the completion of another task. Emissions from idling equipment tend to be high, since catalytic converters cool down, thus reducing the efficiency of hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide oxidation. Existing idling control technologies, which automatically shut the engine off after a preset time can reduce emissions, without intervention from the operators.
Improved Maintenance – Recognizing that significant emission reductions can be achieved through regular equipment maintenance, contractors will be asked to provide maintenance records for their fleet as part of the contract bid and at regular intervals throughout the life of the contract.
6.1.6 Noise Environment
To mitigate the impact of noise from construction equipment during the construction phase the following measures are recommended for implementation:
Noise Shields – Equipment generating noise levels greater than the prescribed standards will be provided with noise shields to bring down the noise levels to permissible standards.
Time of Operation – The construction activities will be limited to the daytime only and will not be permitted during night hours.
Job Rotation and Hearing Protection – Workers employed in high noise areas will be rotated. Earplugs/muffs, or other hearing protective wear will be provided to those working very close to the noise generating machinery.
6.2 OPERATION PHASE
6.2.1 Water Environment
The water requirements for the project will be met through municipal supply and the proposed project will not utilize any ground or surface water resources.
Appropriate horizontal and vertical clearances have been provided so that the navigational activities are not hindered along the river.
Storm Water Management
The quantity of storm water generated from the terminal stations is expected to be negligible and will constitute runoff from buildings, roads and paved areas. Contamination of storm water is possible from the following sources:
• Diesel and oil spills in the diesel power generator ; fuel storage area.
• Oil spills and leaks in vehicle parking lots and washing area.
• Leachate generated from the waste.
A detailed “Storm Water Management Plan” has been developed after considering the above sources. The plan incorporates best management practices, which includes the following:
• Regular inspection and cleaning of storm drains.
• Cover waste storage areas.
• Secondary containment and dykes in fuel/oil storage facilities.
• Conducting routine inspections to ensure cleanliness.
• Preparation of spill response plans, particularly for fuel and oil storage areas.
• Good housekeeping in the above areas.
The wastewater generated from the temporary labor tents will be diverted to the sewer network in the area.
6.2.2 Land Environment
The solid waste generated due to the proposed project will be negligible. Two set of Twin bins of 200 l capacity each will be provided at the lower terminal station along the south bank and one set will be provided at the upper terminal station along the north bank. The waste collection frequency will be daily and the waste will be handed over to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation.
6.2.3 Ecological Environment
Following Measures have been recommended:
• The aerial lighting should be limited to UTP and LTP. Lighting along the tower should be avoided.
• Minimum aerial lighting to be provided
• Care should be taken that no waste material or used oil and grease of D.G set are discharge into river beds
6.2.4 Socio Economic Environment
Infrastructure Development The proposed ropeway is an infrastructure development project for the traffic movement between the two banks Brahmaputra River. In addition to ropeway other facilities like approach road, parking etc. will also be developed. Due to the proposed facility, the development along north bank will get an impetus, and will help in reducing congestion along the south bank.
Ferry and boat operators
The business of ferryboat operators will not be impacted significantly as their services will continue to be availed by villagers and vendors who also carry their vehicles and their goods. In addition, the increase in traffic over the period of time, the business of boat operators would coexist with the ropeway facility.
6.2.5 Air Environment
To mitigate the impact of pollutants from diesel generator sets and vehicular traffic during the operational phase of the site the following measures are recommended for implementation:
Diesel generator set emission control measures;
Diesel Generator Set Emission Control Measures: Adequate stack height of 7 m and 4 m will be provided to keep the air pollutants well within the prescribed limits; hence no additional emission control measures have been suggested.
Greenbelt Development: Increasing vegetation in the form of greenbelt is one of the preferred methods to mitigate air pollution. Plants serve as a sink for pollutants, act as a barrier to break the wind speed as well as allow the dust and other particulates to settle out there. It also helps to reduce the noise level to some extent. Dense plantations will be developed along the terminal stations.
6.2.6 Noise Environment
The mechanical equipment for the ropeway operation will be provided with acoustic enclosures to meet the noise levels recommended by OSHA.
The majority of the collection data in this project are acquired via Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network and the provided content on their website.
http://www.aecen.org, Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN)
8.0 Overall Technical
The proposed project is aimed at the infrastructural development of the area. The project will provide impetus to the growth of north Guwahati. The project will provide a safer means of transportation to the residents of Guwahati city.
All possible environment aspects have been adequately assessed and necessary control measures have been formulated to meet with statutory requirements, in the preparation of this EIA-EMP report. Thus implementing this project will not have any appreciable negative impacts. Thus, the proposed project is a welcome development and may be accorded environmental clearance.
For the effective and consistent functioning of the project, an Environmental Management System (EMS) should be established at the site. The EMS should include the following: an environmental management cell, environmental monitoring, personnel training, regular environmental audits and corrective action, documentation–standard operating procedures environmental management plans and other records.
Environmental Management Cell
Apart from having an Environmental Management Plan, it is also necessary to have a permanent organizational set up charged with the task of ensuring its effective implementation of mitigation measures and to conduct environmental monitoring. The major duties and responsibilities of Environmental Management Cell shall be as given below:
• To implement the environmental management plan,
• To assure regulatory compliance with all relevant rules and regulations,
• To ensure regular operation and maintenance of pollution control devices,
• To minimize environmental impacts of operations as by strict adherence to the EMP,
• To initiate environmental monitoring as per approved schedule.
• Review and interpretation of monitored results and corrective measures in case monitored results are above the specified limit.
• Maintain documentation of good environmental practices and applicable environmental laws as ready reference.
• Maintain environmental related records.
• Coordination with regulatory agencies, external consultants, monitoring laboratories.
• Maintain of log of public complaints and the action taken