Major National Power Projects Still In Limbo

By VNS, August 22nd, 2013

 Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has urged the northern provinces of Son La, Dien Bien and Lai Chau to speed up land clearances and the resettlement of local residents to allow construction of key Son La and Lai Chauhydropower plants.

Working with the State Steering Board for the Son La-Lai Chau hydropower plant in Lai Chau province yesterday, Hai praised the board and the province for the project’s progress, affirming the Government would prioritise investment in the project.

He also requested the three provinces of Lai Chau, Son La and Dien Bien accommodate displaced residents, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture andRural Development would take a leading role in helping to resettle locals and foster development in resettlement areas.

At the working session, leaders of the relevant ministries and departments also suggested measures to allocate land and forest plots to resettled families and assist them with farming sustainable livelihoods.

Le Trong Quang, Deputy Chairman of the Lai Chau Province People’s Committee, said the resettlement policy had made good progress in line with the master planpreviously approved by the Prime Minister.

Currently, 60 of 1,760 households in the province have been relocated, with the remainder to be moved in 2014, he said. Meanwhile, a total of 4,600 families resettled in Son La province have received compensation.

According to the steering board, construction of necessary infrastructure in resettlement areas in Son La and Lai Chau province have been complete, while locals moving into the new areas had received land for agricultural production.

Many local residents have extracted higher incomes from planting rubber trees in the districts of Sin Ho and Mong Te.

Lai Chau’s province leader Quang requested the Electricity of Viet Nam speed up capital allocations to resettlement areas, which had been delayed.

Construction of Lai Chau hydropower plant – the third biggest after Hoa Binh and Son La plants – began in January 5, 2011 and is scheduled to be operational by early 2017.

Son La hydropower plant began generating power in December 2012, after 7 years of construction.

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