|Bản Vẽ hydropower plant in Nghệ An Province. - VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Oanh|Viet Nam News
NGHỆ AN — Local authorities in central Nghệ An Province have decided to stop granting licences to new hydropower projects in the province, highlighting the damage caused by the plants.
During rainy season, water discharged from the plants along with flooding from upstream inundate a number of areas, causing landslides, sweeping away homes and bridges, and damaging roads.
Local residents have complained about the issue and proposed authorised agencies stop granting licences to hydropower projects.
In August and September, Nghệ An was one of the localities most affected by heavy flooding, with thousands of houses inundated. Many mountainous areas in the province suffered huge losses after water was released from hydropower plants.
After the incidents, hydropower plants paid compensation to affected residents but according to local authorities, the financial support paled in comparison to the damage they suffered.
There are 32 approved hydropower plants in Nghệ An Province with total capacity of more than 1,300 MW. Three of the biggest are in Bản Vẽ, Khe Bố and Hủa Na. Other small plants are mostly located close to rivers and streams in remote areas.
Many provinces in the Central Highlands which have seen serious loss of forest cover in recent years have also scrapped plans for hydropower plants and stopped the operations of others because of their adverse effects on forests and the environment.
According to the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, this along with climate change has seriously affected local people’s lives and the environment and hit socio-economic development. — VNS