The large number of hydropower projects in Nghe An Province have greatly affected the lives of local people.
Poor districts complaints about impact of hydropower projects
There are 47 approved hydropower projects in Nghe An Province with a total capacity of 1,407 MW. After a review, 15 projects were scrapped. As of now, 18 plants have gone into operation with a capacity of 892 MW, six projects are under construction and three projects are still having their administrative procedures done.
Nearly 20 projects are located in Ky Son District alone. The projects are located in five mountainous districts but up to 185 villages there still haven't got electricity.
Que Phong District authorities have asked the provincial authorities to let them keep 3-5% of the tax revenues from the hydropower plants to repair the infrastructure at the resettlement areas and support the locals. They also asked the investors to spend 1-2% of the post-tax revenue to help the locals.
Que Phong is a mountainous district with 62.81% of the households poor and near-poor. With 10 hydropower projects, the environment and local life have been greatly affected. In order to build Hua Na Hydropower Plant, 878 households had to be relocated to 13 resettlement areas. Many roads, water pipes and schools have been ruined.
Nguyen Van Hai, party secretary of Tuong Duong District, said, "Now the hydropower plants discharge water even when there is no flood. Discharging water without forewarning may result in deaths."
Nguyen Thanh Hoang, chairman of Ky Son District, said two projects in their area had been stagnated for a decade. Last year, many houses were flooded when the managers at Ban Ve Hydropower Plant discharged water from the reservoir, 19 houses were swept away.
"The plants all said they had followed the procedures then why there were such consequences? Then the procedures must have problems. The authorities must be stricter with hydropower plant operations and have measures to clarify responsibilities when there are consequences," said Nguyen Van Thong, deputy party secretary of Nghe An.
Major General Nguyen Huu Can, director of Nghe An police department said they had started the prosecution against the offenders in a case where Nam Non Hydropower Plant discharged water without notice and killed a person in Tuong Duong District.