Ten months, three hydropower dams broke

VietNamNet Bridge – The first “hydropower bomb” that denounced the irresponsibility of investors who were reckless for seeking profit is Dakrong III, located in Dakrong commune, Quang Tri province. After the dam was broken on October 7, 2012, people knew that the dam was built by concrete mixed with soil.

The incident did not kill anyone but it affected the lives of more than 2,500 households in the district and swept away VND20 billion ($1 million).

The incident did not kill anyone but it affected the lives of more than 2,500 households in the district and swept away VND20 billion ($1 million).

After that the dam of Dak Mek 3 Hydropower Plant in Dak Choong commune, Dak Glei district of Kon Tum province was broken after being slightly hit by a truck. The accident claimed the life of a worker.

The two incidents were an alarming lesson for the investors of private hydropower projects for construction quality, but they kept built hydropower works towards maximally “saving” building materials.

On June 12, 2013, the dam of the Ia Krel 2 hydropower plant in Ia Dom commune, Duc Co district, Gia Lai province, was broken when the reservoir stored only 50 percent of water volume. Dozens of people had to climb to the trees to avoid the water and many hectares of crops were damaged.

Experts determined that the investor built the dam wrongly compared to the original design. The reason is that the investor maximally “saved” costs of raw materials.

After the third incident, Gia Lai province frantically released a dispatch requesting the relevant departments to review hydropower projects in the area. As a result, eight hydropower projects were revoked because the investors did not make progress on their commitments.

On June 26-28, some hydropower projects in five provinces in the Central Highlands were inspected. The inspection saved the lives of thousands of households in Kon Plong district, Kon Tum province because the inspectors discovered the irresponsibility of the investor of the Dac Drinh hydropower project. On July 1, the inspectors asked relevant agencies to urgently perform evacuation.

The construction of the Dac Drinh reservoir has nearly finished and the investor planed to begin storing water on August 31. However, 217 households in the reservoir area have not been relocated yet. The houses for resettlement of local people are still unfinished at this moment. If the resettlement is carried out timely, the life of hundreds of people will face innumerable difficulties because the necessary infrastructure for life has not built completed while the rainy and flood season has come.

The authorities of Kon Tum province have also asked related agencies to check all dams and irrigation works in the area.

M. Lan

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