Panel Issues Notice of Registration in Kazakhstan Roads Case
The Inspection Panel on February 11, 2021, issued a Notice of Registration for a Request for Inspection of the South West Roads Project: Western Europe – Western China International Transit Corridor (CAREC 1b & 6b) in Kazakhstan.
The project’s development objective is to “increase transport efficiency on the road sections between [the] Aktobe/Kyzylorda oblast border and Shymkent, and to improve road management and traffic safety in Kazakhstan.” The Request for Inspection relates to one of the project’s five components – the upgrade and reconstruction of road sections within the South Kazakhstan oblast (province) from the Kyzylorda oblast border to Shymkent, including the bypasses to Kyzylorda and Shymkent.
The Request was submitted on December 24, 2020, by a representative on behalf of four community members of the village of Shakpak Baba. The Requesters, who asked the Panel to keep their identities confidential, claim that works associated with the project have caused them harm through flooding, loss of irrigation, loss of livelihood, increased traffic accidents and obstruction to the free movement of livestock. They also claim that project information was not adequately disclosed. In substance, the Requesters allege non-compliance with the World Bank’s Environmental Assessment Policy, OP 4.01.
The Panel’s registration implies no judgment concerning the merits of the Request. Bank management must provide the Panel with a response to the issues raised in the Request by March 15, 2021. After receiving the response and engaging with the relevant stakeholders, the Panel will make a recommendation to the Board of Executive Directors on whether the matter should be investigated. More