|New houses are built in Nam Can Resettlement Area, Muong Lay Town, northern Dien Bien Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuan Truong
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved two road construction projects, and has granted more than VND629 billion (US$28 million) for the resettlement process under the Son La Hydropower Plant Project.
One of the two roads to be built will connect the districts of Muong Lay and Nam Nhun in the northern Dien Bien Province. The other construction work will upgrade the northern Son La Province's provincial highway 107 that links Chieng Pac Commune and Phieng Lanh Town.
The road projects are expected to improve transport links in resettlement areas of people who gave up their homes voluntarily for the construction of the Son La Hydro Power Plant, the largest project in Southeast Asia.
The plant became operational on December 23, 2012, after seven years of construction, and three years earlier than scheduled. With a total investment of VND60 trillion (approximately US$2.85 billion), the 2,400MW Son La Hydropower Plant has six generators. Every year, it will create a turnover of US$500 million and save more than five million tonnes of coal, needed to produce an equivalent amount of electricity. Moreover, the plant will supply on average 10.2 billion kWh a year to the national grid.
About 20,340 ethnic households in Dien Bien, Son La and Lai Chau provinces voluntarily moved to other areas, giving up their land for the construction of the plant.
Under the resettlement project approved by Prime Minister in 2013, there are 78 resettlement areas. As of last August, more than 40,000 affected households and 232 organisations were given a total of VND7 trillion (US$311.2 million) as compensation.
The newly approved VND629-billion fund is expected to fill the funding shortage so that the resettlement project can be completed by the end of this year. — VNS