The Central Highlands region and its neighbouring provinces have cancelled 167 small hydroelectric projects and rejected 75 potential locations for building hydropower plants after concluding that they may seriously affect the quality of life of local residents.

The Highlands province of Lam Dong rejected the largest number of such projects - over 40, followed by Kon Tum, 34, and the central province of Quang Nam, 22.

An array of social and environmental considerations stemming from the hydropower development poses a headache to the Central Highlands and its bordering mountainous localities.

Specifically, the region has had to devote 80,000 hectares of land for the construction of hydropower plants.
The remediation of environmental consequences is slow, with only 757 hectares of forest being planted compared with 22,770 ha of forest that were converted for the purpose of building hydropower projects.

Hundreds of households have not been allocated with land for production to replace lost farms, while the construction of transport links and social welfare policies in resettlement areas for displaced local people has also moved at a snail’s pace.

The Central Highlands has put into use 118 hydropower projects with a total capacity of 5,798 MW, while 75 others are under construction.-VNA