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Land clearance slows power line project

Update: April, 18/2013 - 09:21
Part of the 500-kV Song May-Tan Dinh powerline network in the southern province of Dong Nai. Many projects to supply power to industrial hubs in the southern provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Duong, and Ba Ria Vung Tau are still behind schedule due to stalled land transfers. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

HA NOI (VNS)— Discontented households are holding up transmission lines for four 500-kV power-line from the Central and Central Highlands regions to southern Viet Nam.

The householders are disgruntled because they claim compensation money being offered for their land and homes is far too low.

Deputy chairman of southern Binh Duong Province's People's Committee Tran Van Nam, one of the authorities involved in the erection of the power lines, has warned of drastic measures if people intentionally hindered the projects.

The projects were planned to be completed in December this year, ensuring power supplies as far as HCM City.

Power lines to the industrial hubs of Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau were scheduled for completion in the next two years.

Supplies would have also been connected to the neighbouring countries of Laos and Cambodia.

However, until now, most of the projects are behind schedule because land transfers have not been completed.

For example, according to the Management Board of Power Projects in the central region, until this month, land clearance had not been completed on the line from Plei Ku and My Phuoc to Cau May because only 815 positions of the necessary 926 sites were ready for construction of poles' foundation.

The project, worth more than VND 9.2 trillion (US$440.7 million) runs through the provinces of Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Duong and HCM City.

Deputy head of the management board's compensation division Pham Xuan Viet said that they had been planning to erect the pylons since 2010– and had offered compensation three times. However, householders dug in their heels and demanded more before they moved.

Under the current compensation policy, Dak Nong Province has offered to pay VND17,000 ($0.8) per square metre and VND230,000 ($11) for a seven-year-old coffee tree in affected areas in the province's Krong No District.

However, some householders demanded up to VND50,000 ($2.3) a square metre and VND1 million ($47) for a tree.

In the communes of Binh Minh and Minh Hung in Binh Phuoc Province, people asked for compensation rates three to four times higher than the offered rates.

"The board has asked local authorities to speed up land acquisition, but (so far) has received little response," Viet said.

Tran Van Nam, deputy chairman of the Binh Duong Province People's Committee, another province involved in the project, said that local authorities had been asked to review residents' complaints and address them as soon as possible.

He said that if affected households intentionally hindered the project, drastic measures were needed to ensure the scheme.

The other three projects involved are the 500-kV Song May –Tan Dinh Project launched in 2009 in Dong Nai Province.

In another 500-kV line project, Vinh Tan-Song May in southern Dong Nai Province, authorities in Ham Tan District are reported to be planning to force householders to transfer land to ensure the success of the scheme. — VNS


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