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Son La downsizes resettlements

Update: April, 03/2015 - 08:59
Resettlement will be carried out across 50 communes in the districts of Phu Yen, Moc Chau, Bac Yen, Muong La, Mai Son and Van Ho. — File Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Only nine new resettlement communes, seven less than in the original plan, will be built for residents in the northern province of Son La displaced to make way for the Hoa Binh hydro-power plant, according to a government website, chinhphu.vn.

The changes are understood to have been made because many of the residents were not happy about the new locations for their homes, including water supplies and the suitability of the ground for farming, said a Vietnam News Agency reporter based in the province.

The reduction were part of recent changes to the resettlement and socio-economic plan for the province approved by the Prime Minister from 2011-2015.

Some of the 54,153 households affected by the resettlement plan will move to 25 villages set up in existing communes in the province, four less than the original plan.

Resettlement will be carried out across 50 communes in the districts of Phu Yen, Moc Chau, Bac Yen, Muong La, Mai Son and Van Ho.

The latest plan is said to have kept to its original target to try and eliminate hunger in resettlement areas while reducing the percentage of poor households down to the provincial average of 27 per cent.

It was decided to do this by giving more than 18,000 poor households loans to grow plants with short growth periods, such as corn and sugar cane - and cattle.

A goal has been to lift the average income of resettled residents aims to VND16 million (US$761) a year.

Among 81 prioritised infrastructure projects outlined in the original plan to improve the lives of the residents in the resettlement areas, 53 were reported to be completed.

They included trans-commune roads, water plants, suspension bridges and irrigation works.

The resettlement plan totals about VND1.6 trillion ($78.8 million).

The Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant began in 1979, displacing thousands of local residents in Son La and the neighbouring Hoa Binh Provinces. — VNS

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