The People’s Committee of the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai has proposed that the Prime Minister considers stopping investment in a hydro power plant at Kon Chư Răng Natural Reserve in Kbang District.— Photo tintaynguyen.vn
GIA LAI — The People’s Committee of the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai has proposed that the Prime Minister considers stopping investment in a hydro power plant at Kon Chư Răng Natural Reserve in Kbang District.
The local authorities are opposing the construction of the Vĩnh Sơn 2 hydro power plant for fear of environmental damage.
The project, with a total capacity of 80MW, has a total investment of more than VNĐ1 trillion (US$44.8 million).
It consists of two reservoirs, one is planned at Kon Chư Răng Natural Reserve in Gia Lai and one is planned in the neighbouring province of Bình Định. The project was approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in 2006 and got an investment license from the People’s Committee of Bình Định.
However, the project is yet to be built due to not receiving a license from Gia Lai authorities.
In a document sent to the PM, the authorities of Gia Lai said if the project is constructed, its dam would flood 265ha of primitive forest in the nature reserve and dry out 10km of the Say Stream in the dry season, which will wreak havoc on the ecosystem upstream of the Côn river.
The Côn river and its tributaries are major supplies of water in the 16,000-hectare reserve, which is known for many beautiful waterfalls and hundreds of flora and fauna species.
Construction of the project will cause negative and long-term impacts on the environment, the ecosystem and the living conditions of people in lowland areas, the authorities said.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Kpah Thuyên told the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that we could learn lessons from the construction of An Khê – Ka Nak hydro power plant which still caused negative impacts on the living conditions of many people in the province.
Vice Chairman of the Kbang District’s People’s Committee Phạm Xuân Trường said the Vĩnh Sơn 2 hydro power project was planned in a primitive forest with invaluable animal and plant species which need to be protected. - VNS