Thuong Nhat Hydropower Plant
Thuong Nhat Hydropower Plant is invested by Central Hydro Power JSC. The construction was started in 2008 with an investment of VND158bn (USD6.7m), covering 154 hectares. In 2012, the total investment was raised to VND341bn. The construction was stagnated and was restarted again in 2016.
187 households were relocated for the project and the agreed compensation was VND22bn (USD938,500). Most of them are from ethnic minority groups with difficult backgrounds. However, nothing has been paid since 2016. Many people have come to the headquarters of the communal people’s committee to raise the problem.
“Without land for agriculture and forestry, we have to find different jobs to support our families. We haven’t seen any benefits from investment projects at all. As of now, we lost lands, our houses crack because of construction activities, and we still haven’t been compensated,” said Ho Van Tran from Thuong Nhat Commune.
Tran Dinh Khoi, chairman of Thuong Nhat Commune, said, “The locals are worried after hearing that the plant is going into operation soon. At first, the investor promised to pay compensation before Tet, then they extended the deadline to March, April and May.”
According to Nam Dong District People’s Committee, the smallest compensation is VND150m (USD6,400) and the highest is nearly VND1bn. This represents huge money for the ethnic people. Tran Quoc Phung, chairman of Nam Dong District, said previously the investor had promised to pay compensation while carrying out the construction due to financial difficulties.
Phung said they wouldn’t let the plant go into operation if the investor didn’t pay compensation.
“We have worked with the investor. They said they were taking bank loans,” Phung said.
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