|Local residents protest the construction of four more hydropower plants in Quảng Nam, saying that it would greatly affect their lives.--Photo baoxaydung.com.vn|Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NAM – Local authorities agreed on Wednesday on a plan to build four hydropower plants in the mountainous district of Nam Trà My in the central province of Quảng Nam. The four plants will have a design capacity of 78.8MW and cover an area of about 144ha.
Plans for the power plants have evoked mixed reactions, given that Nam Trà My District has suffered frequent quakes of 2.5 to 4.5 magnitude on the Richter scale. The biggest recorded tremor of 4.7 magnitude occurred in 2012.
Lê Thị Thuỷ, head of the Quảng Nam Department of Ethnicity, said “Quảng Nam Province has the most hydropower plants in the country. Building four more will result in bad consequences”. Thủy added that most opinions have focussed on the plan’s economic perspective.
The loss of forestry land, on the other hand, has not been properly considered. New hydropower plants will have environmental consequences and affect climate change, hurting local residents whose livelihood depends heavily on natural conditions and resources, according to Thuỷ.
Arguing against her, Hồ Quang Bửu, head of Nam Trà My District People’s Committee, denied the plants would have a negative impact. All four hydropower plants are designed on a small scale and their water will be supplied through a tunnel, with no consequences for the region.
“I assure you this plan will not affect the forest or people’s livelihood, only improve the local economy,” emphasised Bửu. He conceded that the issue has two faces but added that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. “The Nam Trà My District area gets its power from Tam Kì City. The local demand in 2016 was more than 2.8 million kWh. The resulting overload creates power cuts during the rainy season.”
This conclusion was also cited in a report signed by Huỳnh Khánh Toàn, deputy head of Quảng Nam People’s Committee. – VNS