Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang has made replies in written form to questions and petitions raised by NA deputies and voters on issues under his charge, focusing on the inspection results of small- and medium-scale hydro electric projects nationwide.

Minister Quang said the projects show a lack of preventive measures against natural disasters and climate change as well as unexpected problems.

The country has planned for 1,110 hydro power plant projects with a combined capacity of 25,290 MW, he said, adding that 239 of them are operational and another 217 are under construction. The remaining projects are either in the period of research or awaiting investment.

Regarding the state management of the small and medium-scale projects, the minister said all projects inspected in 16 provinces over the past year have been ratified by authorised agencies.

However, some local governments as well as projects made mistakes in land procedures, such as the issuance of unlawful decisions on land reclamation and transfer, at Vinh Son 5 hydro power project in Vinh Thanh district, central Binh Dinh province.

Also according to Minister Quang, local authorities failed to keep a close watch on and take timely actions on violations of hydropower projects in protecting the environment, waste collection and treatment, and ensuring safe working conditions.

The projects’ investors have shown a lot of flaws in observing the law, he said, adding that many of them have started construction without completing documents asking for land transfer and lease as well as permission for water surface exploitation.

Muong Kim hydro power project located in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai is one example, he said.

According to Minister Quang, the ministry is summing up the inspection results to submit to the Prime Minister.-VNA