Monday, August 6, 2012

Relocation of Dawei area villagers moving ahead for dam project

Monday, 06 August 2012 15:26 Mizzima News

As plans are expected to move ahead more rapidly on the Dawei deep-sea port and economic zone, villagers in Ka Loat Hta are dissatisfied with the Italian-Thai Development Company (ITD) relocation plans for their village, a site for a proposed hydropower dam project.

A dam construction in the Dawei area Photo: Kwe Ka Lu

A villager told the Karen News Group (KNG) their relocation hasn’t started yet, but ITD has already marked and measured off the land.

“For sure, the whole village will be under water because of this project,” he said. “Although we don’t want to move, we have no choice.”

The hydropower dam is to be constructed near the village on the Talineya River that runs into the Tanintharyi River in Ye Hsu Township in Tenasserim Division.

ITD officials are now negotiating with the villagers who will be relocated or affected by the dam project.

“We’ve heard that they [ITD] will rebuild houses for villagers who are relocated to another area. Villagers say they don’t want to move,” said an area resident.

Villagers will get 300,000 kyat (about US$ 3,530) for a producing rubber tree, 150,000 kyat for an immature rubber tree and 500,000 kyat for an acre of unworked land, he said.

Villagers think the ITD compensation offer for rubber trees is too low and some villagers are demanding a higher rate. Villagers who do not want to lose their plantation are organizing themselves to protest to save their lands, said KNG.

President Thein Sein and Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra agreed last month agreed to push ahead on efforts to build the infrastructure for the Dawei deep-sea port project.

The Italian-Thai Development Company is a Thai-owned company that is developing the $60-billion mega Tavoy/Dawei Development Project in Tavoy, Southern Burma. The project includes a deep-sea port, a 250-square-kilometer light and heavy industrial zone, a 4,000-megawatt power plant, and railways links to the Thai border in Kanchanaburi. The company is still working to round up financing for the deep-sea port project.

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