VietNamNet Bridge – The People’s Committee of northern mountainous Ha Giang Province has found many small hydropower plants in the locality violating norms.
Song Lo 2 hydropower plant in northern Ha Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo
These include Bac Me hydropower plant with a capacity of 45MW, which suddenly released water in late December last year, causing landslides in residential areas and national highway 34.
The plant was built by the Viet Nam Trading Engineering Construction Joint Stock Company (Vietracimex) without a construction licence. It had been storing water to generate commercial electricity also without a licence. Vietracimex did not have a land contract to build the project either.
Song Lo hydropower plant No 4 was found to not have landmark corridors to protect its reservoir as regulated and was generating electricity illegally.
Inspectors also found violations at other hydropower plants, such as lack of licence to exploit and use surface water, failure to carry out periodic environmental assessment and supervision, and failure to provide training on labour safety and hygiene to workers.
The local authorities ordered these hydropower plants to fix the shortcomings and report the result to them at the end of the month.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Son said investment in hydropower plants in the province had contributed to its socio-economic development.
However, State management tasks remained ineffective, leading to shortcomings at the plants and negatively affecting the life of local people as well as transport infrastructure and environment, he said.
Son underlined the lack of close co-operation between relevant agencies and investors’ failure to abide by regulations relating to investment, land, environment and use of water resources.
The Committee asked the local Department of Trade and Industry to publicise investment procedures for small hydropower plants in the province and direct as well as inspect investors while building and operating hydropower plants.
It also requested the department to have in place strict punishment for violators.