Central Vietnam should scratch 38 hydropower projects: ministry

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed that the government cancels 38 approved hydropower plant projects in the central region as they pose serious threats to the environment and society.


Another 35 projects should be amended, it has said.


The projects, which were planned in nine provinces including Quang Nam and Dak Lak, were placed under a government-ordered review last November after several hydropower reservoirs were blamed for worsening floods during the Ketsana and Mirinae typhoons.


Concerns that the plants carry major environmental threats also prompted the government to launch the review.


According to the ministry, the central and central highlands provinces currently are home to 393 hydropower plant projects, and Dak Lak Province has recently started studying 79 more "potential" locations for hydropower plants.


Also in its report to the government, the ministry said hydropower reservoirs in Quang Tri, Quang Nam and Phu Yen provinces that were blamed for worsening floods by discharging water during typhoons last year had complied with regulations on water release.


However, due to shortcomings in the capacity of staff operating the reservoirs and cooperation among related agencies, the release wasn't conducted in a timely and effective way, the ministry said.


Hitting Vietnam last September and November, Ketsana and Mirinae killed at least 286 people and caused over US$1 trillion in damage to property.

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