Residents affected by Son La power plant see improved livelihood hinh anh 1Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai presents gift to a family at the resettlement in Dien Bien province. (Source: VNA)

More than 100,000 residents displaced by the Son La hydroelectric power plant have improved livelihoods at their new settlements, according to reports released at a meeting held by the State Steering Committee of the Son La – Lai Chau hydroelectric plant project. 

The meeting, which was presided over by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai on August 27 in Muong Lay town in the northwest province of Dien Bien, aimed to review the implementation of the Son La and Lai Chau hydroelectric plants. 

After being relocated to new settlements, the incomes of residents tripled and the poverty rate is now far below the average level in Dien Bien province. 

The Deputy PM urged relevant ministries and sectors to review the completion progress of component projects to shift focus to the ‘Stabilising residents and social-economic development of the resettlements’ project. 

He also asked Son La, Dien Bien and Lai Chau provinces to integrate the restructuring of agriculture, industry, tourism and service programmes to increase the effectiveness of resettlement projects. 

Deputy PM Hai agreed with investors’ plan to put the first turbine of the Lai Chau power plant into operation at the end of 2015 and asked them to ensure safety for workers. 

According to the Steering Committee, 33,200 out of 38,500 tonnes of equipment have been transported to the Lai Chau plant construction site and the installation of the first rotor will take place in September for trial test before December, towards generating electricity by December 31. 

The Son La – Lai Chau 500-kilovolt transmission line project and the expansion of the 500-kilovolt Son La transformer and transport projects are on schedule, the committee said. 

According to the committee, the Son La power plant had generated 33.7 billion kilowatt hours and contributed 4.03 trillion VND (183 million USD) to the Son La, Dien Bien and Lai Chau budgets as of August 20.-VNA