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Safety barriers to be set around reservoirs

Update: May, 22/2014 - 08:53
Coc Ly hydropower reservoir in Lao Cai Province.The country has about 7,000 dam reservoirs, and more than 6,500 of which are hydropower reservoirs with a capacity of 11 billion cubic metres of water.—Photo baolaocai

HA NOI (VNS) — A water protection corridor will be established around hydropower and irrigation water reservoirs, and artificial lakes in urban and residential areas to prevent illegal encroachment, noted a draft decree.

The draft decree, which was chalked out by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, stipulated that hydropower and irrigation water reservoirs at the state level will have water protection corridors built around them. As per requirement, the height of the corridor should be equal to the estimated maximum height that the flood waters can reach.

In other reservoirs in urban areas and residential quarters, the corridor will have to be built in an area more than 5m away from the edge of the reservoirs.

In natural dams, rivers, and lagoons that have biological diversification and ecosystem protection or are located in cultural and relic sites, the corridor must be built more than 20m away from the edge of the dams and lagoons.

As per the draft decree, the owners of hydropower and irrigation reservoirs will have to bear the cost of building the water protection corridors. Construction of water protection corridors for other kinds of reservoirs will be supported by the state budget.

The decree also banned activities, such as mineral exploitation, housing construction, and other encroachment activities.

A representative of the ministry has stated that it was necessary to implement the construction of corridors in all cities and provinces.

There has been recent widespread encroachment of reservoirs. During a recent inspection conducted on an irrigation exploitation company in the central highland province of Dak Nong, nearly 74 out of the 156 irrigation reservoirs under the company's control were illegally encroached by locals.

Most were encroached to build houses, storage facilities, and farms. There were 17 instances of unlicensed aquaculture farming in reservoirs.

Currently, the country has about 7,000 dam reservoirs, and more than 6,500 of which are hydropower reservoirs with a capacity of 11 billion cubic metres of water.

About 1,090 projects to build hydro power plants were granted approval and work on 266 of them has been completed and are now operational. — VNS

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