Trial phase of KNU hydropower dam to cost $1 million

IT is anticipated that $1 million will be used in the preliminary trial phase of a Karen National Union (KNU) construction of Baw Ka Hta hydropower dam project, located in Nyaunglebin district of Bago Region, says Saw Tar Doh Moo, the chair of the KNU central economic committee.

As well as working to have a positive impact on the economy and society, together with a reduction in damages to the environment, there will be engagement with the public during the preliminary phase of the project.

“This is going to be an international standard project but regardless of how much of a positive impact it will have, if the public want it stopped then we will act in the manner their desire dictates. This preliminary stage is to support the right of public participation and decision making, as local citizens were not allowed such privileges in the past when it came to regional projects.” said Saw Tar Doh Moo.

An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Electric Power and KNU Thoolei company during a meeting between both parties on 18 February for the compilation of a two year report on the preliminary experimental phase of the hydropower project.

“Of course we’ll know [the results of the preliminary phase of the project] once the report has been released. Since project implementation is yet to even get underway, we’re not in a position whereby we can say whether the report will support the building of the [hydropower] dam or not. What I do know is that there is public concern. This report will evaluate the need for companies, who are looking to expand their business enterprises, to have a harmonious relationship with local citizens so that the resources of the region don’t disappear.” added Saw Tar Doh Moo.

There have been attempts by the State to carry out construction of the Baw Ka Hta hydropower dam three times over the last sixty two years – in 1954, 1964 and more recently 2001 – but they were not successful as the area was plagued by armed conflict.


Source: Myitmakha News Agency


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