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Dam raise causes damage; no compensation in sight

Dam raise causes damage; no compensation in sight

Monday, December 24, 2012, 15:29 GMT+7

Song Con 2 Hydropower Plant in Quang Nam Province has raised the height of its dam by 1 meter to reap in an additional gain of US$480,000 per year without paying compensation to local residents who lost land to the dam raise. The management of the plant, located in the upstream of the Con River in Dong Giang District, raised the plant’s dam by 1 meter in height in late last year using a specific valve system so that the dam can store about 1 million more cubic meters of water. The higher capacity will bring VND10 billion, or $480,000, as additional gain to the plant but causes worry to more than 200 households who have lost 108,000 square meters of farming land. However, the plant’s management has yet to pay compensation, estimated at VND4.2 billion ($201,600) to the residents, said Do Tai, chairman of the district people’s Committee, adding that he did not understand why. Tai said that after the dam was raised, about 260 affected families sent their complaints to local authorities demanding damage from the plant’s investor, the Geruco Song Con Hydropower Joint Stock Company. They said that the raise caused flooding to their crops and fields.Safety issue Meanwhile, in talking with Tuoi Tre, Do Trung Hai, deputy general director of the company, said the raising of the dam using the valve system was a good initiative bringing high economic efficiency. The valve system, which was designed by the Vietnam Institute for Science and Irrigation, “is being verified for safety by the provincial Department of Industry and Trade”, Hai nevertheless added. In August, chief inspector of the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment, said the plant has committed many violations on safety issues. Meanwhile, an environmental impact assessment due to the dam raise is yet to be submitted to the local Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

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