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Dozens fail to declare acceptance of expressway compensation

More than 100 people who will lose land and other property when the planned expressway is built through Vientiane did not declare their intention to accept the compensation offered by the deadline of January 30.
The 15.2 km expressway will link the Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao-ITECC) in Xaysettha district to Dongmakkhai village in Xaythany district.
It will pass through 689 plots of land measuring 242.6 hectares and will involve the destruction of 159 houses and other buildings, as well as crops and plants.
The property affected is located in Xaysettha district’s 12 villages and Xaythany district’s six villages. In Xaysettha district alone, more than 100 property owners have not made a declaration regarding their acceptance of the compensation offered, a district official involved in the matter told Vientiane Times yesterday.
A district official also said that 48 property owners in Xaythany had not yet made a declaration.
People who fail to make a declaration by the deadline voluntarily forfeit their right to compensation, according to announcements issued by both district authorities. These were published in local media outlets over a period of at least one month.
The announcements were made in line with a decision issued by Vientiane Mayor Dr Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune and a notice issued by the Vientiane Administration.
It is still unclear why these property owners have not declared their intention to accept the compensation.
Officials said that some might not have been aware of the announcements, while others might not be satisfied with the compensation offered.
Asked if consideration would be given to late declarations, officials said higher authorities had not yet given any guidance on the matter.
Director of the Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department, Mr Dedsongkharm Thammavong, told the Vientiane People’s Council recently that some people had asked for more compensation, saying that the amount offered was less than the market value of their property.
He told Vientiane Times that the compensation unit price had been approved by the Vientiane Administration and the Vientiane People’s Council, and called on the affected property owners to cooperate and make a small sacrifice if need be.
The expressway will be built parallel to Kaysone Phomvihane Avenue. The project - a joint investment by China’s Nolico company and a Lao company - is estimated to cost US$200 million (more than 1,710.5 billion kip) including compensation payments.
Vientiane authorities expect to complete compensation payments before construction of the expressway begins. Work is expected to start sometime this year with completion expected in 2021.
The Vientiane Administration has prioritised the building of the expressway, which connects Lao-ITECC with Huakhua Market, 450 Year Road, a station on the Laos-China railway and Road No. 13 South and ends at Dongmakkhai village.
The road is expected to significantly ease heavy traffic congestion on Kaysone Phomvihane Avenue, which is the main link to Road No. 13 South – the southbound arterial highway.

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update February 13, 2019)

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