Holt request on Sagaing dam
A REQUEST to suspend construction of a small-scale hydropower dam in Sagaing’s Homalin township has been sent to regional parliament, as officials say the construction firm behind the project has fallen well behind its schedule and has failed to apply proper environmental safeguards or decent compensation to households affected by the dam.
Local firm International Power Generation (IPG) was awarded the contract to build the Nam Mar Lone hydro dam by the former government and began construction in March. The regional government had committed more than K6000 in investment into the 600-megawatt-generating dam project, which had been slated for completion in 2018.
In August, the company requested the release of further funding, claiming to have reached a milestone of 25 percent completion of the project. But following a recent site visit by Sagaing parliamentarians, a request has been sent to the regional government, asking for the project to be holted until an investigation has been completed.
“The government is responsible to pay if the company has definitely completed 25pc of the project,” said U Soe Oo, Sagaing’s minister for planning and finance. “But the company has no dignity, because it was asking for money without completing 25pc,” he said.
The company has completed barely 8.5pc of the project, U Soe Oo said, yet was paid K600 million by the former government in March, as it had claimed at the time to have completed 10pc of the project.
Residents living near the project had not been informed of the impact or offered appropriate compensation, despite the company acquiring 3 acres of local farmland, U Soe Oo said.
The company had not received the proper permission from the Department of Forestry, despite it operating in forested areas, Sagaing Region MP U Than said.
IPG representative U Myat Htut declined to comment yesterday.
Officials said they have sent their initial findings to parliament for review.
– Translation by San Layy
‘But the company has no dignity, because it was asking for money without completing 25 percent.’
U Soe Oo