Oudomxay eyeing compensation for families affected by railway
Oudomxay province has yet to decide on the compensation to be awarded to people who will lose property when the Laos-China railway is built on their land.
Provincial officials met on Thursday to discuss the matter, but say they need more time to make a decision. An anonymous provincial authority told Vientiane Times on Friday there had been many proposals from provincial authorities regarding compensation.
Some have suggested that a high amount of compensation be paid to property owners while others have set the amount lower.
“We will have to hold several meetings to make a clear decision on compensation payments,” the official said.
The relevant authorities have yet to discuss compensation with affected residents and have so far only told them the route the railway will take through each village.
Next week officials will meet with residents who own plots of land and buildings that will be used or demolished to make way for the railway.
In Oudomxay the track will run for 126 kilometres through the districts of Xay, Nga and Namor, which are home to 41 villages where 953 families are affected.
A bridge over the Mekong River in Luang Prabang province will be part of the planned 417-km railway which will run from the Chinese border to Vientiane through the provinces of Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, and Vientiane.
In Luang Namtha province, the railway will pass through the district of Luang Namtha, while in Luang Prabang province it will pass through the districts of Chomphet, Luang Prabang and Xiengngeun, and in Vientiane province it will pass through the districts of Hinheup, Vangvieng, Kasy and Phonhong.
Director of the Luang Prabang provincial Public Works and Transport Department, Mr Fasanan Thammavong, said officials in Luang Prabang will be looking at the compensation payments awarded in Oudomxay and Vientiane provinces to ensure they are in line with those paid in other provinces.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith officially launched the construction of the Laos-China railway at a ceremony held on December 25.
The railway is estimated to cost US$5.8 billion and will run from the Boten border area in Luang Namtha province to Vientiane.
It is scheduled for completion in 2021 and is 70 percent owned by China and 30 percent by Laos.
By Khonesavanh Latsaphap
(Latest Update January 07, 2017)