QUANG NAM (VNS)— Investors of the Tranh River 2 Hydropower Plant in central Quang Nam Province are compensating locals for the damages the plant has caused.
The plant's construction destroyed more than 315 hectares of forest. Its operations caused earthquakes and severe water leakage last year.
Huynh Duc, director of the provincial Forest Protection and Development Fund, said that of the three hydropower plants operating in Tra My District, the Tranh River 2 Hydropower Plant was the only one to pay environmental protection fees – a total of VND24 billion (US$1.15 million).
Duc said the fund could be used to support local farmers in their efforts to restore the forest chopped down to build the plant.
Vu Duc Toan, deputy head of the Hydropower Plant 3 Project Management Unit, an investor in Tranh River 2 Hydropower Plant, said that investors will contribute to restoring all the lost forest areas in addition to paying full environmental protection fees.
According to Toan, a plan to restore 400ha of forest in 10 years was approved by the People's Committee. Funding – about VND21.4 billion ($1.1 million) – will be provided by the investors.
The restoration will be implemented this year and in 2014. By the end of the project, the forest would likely be the same as before the construction of the plant, he said.
"I highly appreciate the recent activities of the investors of Tranh River 2 Hydropower Plant," said Tran Anh Tuan, Deputy Chairman of Bac Tra My District's People's Committee. "Their practical measures will improve the plant's image and help local residents stabilise their lives." — VNS