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Dak Lak aims to build hydropower plant on special-use forest land

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Failing to get permission to use special-use forest (SUF) land for a hydropower project, the Dak Lak provincial authorities are pursuing another approach.

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Houses have been cracked because of the blasting


In 2017, the Dak Lak People’s Committee sent a dispatch to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to convert 5.41 hectares of SUF land, under control of the Nam Ka SUF Management Board, to commercial land which would be allocated to a hydropower project.

The proposal was made even though the Prime Minister has said that no forest or forestry land area, including land in approved projects, can be converted for other purposes.

The proposal was rejected as anticipated. MARD, in reply, requested that provincial authorities halt the conversion and keep the forest intact.

However, iprovincial authorities apparently want to develop the hydropower project at any cost. 

On April 21, 2017, the Dak Lak People’s Committee once again sent a dispatch to MARD, requesting the ministry agree on the plan to transfer 5.41 hectares of forest to the Lak district People’s Committee for management. 

If so, the district could convert the forestland into non-agricultural land which would be allocated to Hung Phuc Electricity Construction & Installation for a hydropower plant. 

The provincial authorities explained that forests no longer exist on the 5.41 hectares of land. 

Meanwhile, the Chu Pong Krong hydropower project was added to the list of projects to be developed in the province which was approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in 2007.

The investor is moving ahead with project implementation and has reassured that the project will in no way affect forest protection and biodiversity conservation in the locality.

On August 11, 2017, the Government Office conveyed Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung’s opinion that Dak Lak has to observe current laws on land, forest protection and other related regulations.

On September 14, 2017, the Dak Lak People’s Committee released a decision on excluding the 5.41 hectares of land from SUF programming. 

This means that the 5.41 hectares was no longer SUF land and could be used for projects approved. Another decision was also released at the same time, under which Hung Phuc company could lease land for 50 years to build Chu Pong Krong plant.

The power plant project has kicked off. Local residents in Quang Phu commune in Krong No district complained that their houses had cracked because of the blasting on Krong No river.

However, director of Hung Phuc company Nguyen Thi Minh said the blasting may or may not have caused the cracking. 


Source: VietNamNet

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