Hydropower plants benefit investors but leave residents suffering
VietNamNet Bridge - Why can a lot of hydropower projects obtain licenses from agencies even though the power plants leaf to deforestation, violate forest protection laws and damage biodiversity?

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The thick forests turn into bare land, big trunks of trees are cut into pieces, lying on the ground and blocking the Ca Len Stream. This is what people can see in Ward No 411 of the protective forest in the western part of Ba To district of Quang Ngai province.

The ‘culprit’ that devastates the forest is the Thien Tan Construction JSC, which received a license to develop Dac Re hydropower plant. 

Why can a lot of hydropower projects obtain licenses from agencies even though the power plants leaf to deforestation, violate forest protection laws and damage biodiversity?
Though the company does not have the license to use the natural and protective forestland, it has brought machines to the site to fell trees on an area of 176 hectares.

Ba Xa commune’s people, who are very upset about the destruction of the forest, said the power project should have not been licensed

The Quang Ngai provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has discovered that the investor began building a part of the plant which did not fit the approved design. 

The company also built a new road which was not mentioned in the design. The road goes across the protective forest belonging to JICA 2 project, causing serious damage to the forest.

Meanwhile, in Dak Lak province, local people are protesting the construction of Drang Phok hydropower Plant developed by TECCO, a HCMC-based company.

The project has been facing strong opposition from locals and experts because it will affect the core area of the Yok Don National Park.

“We cannot exchange forest for hydropower. The power plant will be a heavy burden on the national park and affect people’s lives,” said Y No H’wing from Drang Phok Hamlet.

Huynh Nghia Hiep, deputy director of the Yok Don National Park, while affirming that it is necessary to say ‘no’ to hydropower, said that one must not build a hydropower plant in the core area of the national park.

According to the Quang Ngai provincial People’s Committee, 26 hydropower projects were licensed to be developed in the locality. Four have become operational, seven others have been canceled and another three may be canceled.

Son Ha district in the province alone has 18 hydropower projects. A high ranking official of the district said local authorities were going to propose to cancel all projects which have not received licenses and have not been implemented.

According to Son Ha district’s Party Committee’s secretary Dang Ngoc Dung, 100 percent of local voters have not agreed to build Tra Khuc 1 hydropower plant.


PLVN

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