Hydropower project halted for damaging protection forest
  • | dtinews.vn | March 31, 2016 05:08 PM

Quang Ngai People's Committee have demanded investors in the Dak-Re Hydropower Plant halt construction after it was discovered the company doing the building work had destroyed a large area of local forest.


Many trees have been destroyed while construction was carried out

The Thien Tan Company, the investor, will have to take full legal responsibility if they continue the construction illegally. The project is estimated to cost VND2.3trn (USD104.5m) and will cover 176 hectares across both Quang Ngai and Kon Tum provinces.

According to Quang Ngai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the construction unit already destroyed the forest before the local authorities issued the construction permit on February 2. They also built a road to cross the forest that was not included in the submitted design.


Road built through the forest

Nguyen Trong, head of Ba To District's forest management board, said, "We gave warnings and made reports upon discovering the case but once we turned our back, they resumed damaging the forest. More importantly, they were unable to provide any legitimate paperwork for their action. Because of the lack of personnel, we tried to set up checkpoints at key locations to prevent the damage."

The Thien Tan Company was also involved in a scandal involving damage to forest and cultivated land when building the Ha Nang Hydropower Plant. The VND320bn project was started in April 2008 and went into operation in September 2010.

The company promised to pay VND3.24bn to reforest 71 hectares but as of last July, the company had only paid VND1.34bn. Quang Ngai’s authorities have been urging Thien Tan Company to pay the remainder of the sum to no avail. They are also slow to pay the environment service fees.

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