Govt should suspend Upper Yeywar Hydropower project: MP

Writer: 
Maung Htoo

Government should suspend Upper Yeywar hydropower project being developed in Myitnge River about 20 miles away from south of Kyaukme in Shan State, which was done before dealing with locals, said MP Sai Thant Zin of Hsipaw Constituency on September 10.

Deputy Minister for Electricity and Energy clarified about the hydropower project at Union Parliament Session held recently.

“I submitted a report to stop five sub-projects included in the mega project. According to information from locals, there are strange things going on within the dam project. They sent me photos of the dam project and I will be showing them all tomorrow. I will discuss about it in the parliament session,” said the MP.

Locals from East Talone and West Talone villages, which are included in the project area, did not want to relocate but a report from government indicated they seemed to have been relocated, he said.

“My opinion is that I want the government to suspend the project before solving all the problems with locals,” said the MP.

The project is still being implemented and was allowed by special projects implementing body in 2008. He heard the project started its construction phase in 2010, he said.

“I consider that it should be suspended and the decision will depend on the parliament. The deputy minister claimed of one advantage of the project in the parliament. If the project gets finished, it will prevent floods in lower areas of Myitnge River. It makes me sad because I felt that the government has failed to consider the desire of the people living in rural areas. They are not privileged to think of the advantages and disadvantages for them,” said the MP.

About 280 megawatts of electricity will be generated from the project and water will be flowing nearby Hsipaw as a result of the project. East Talone village is located in Hsipaw Township and West Talone village is located in Kyaukme Township. The villagers are summoned to Kyaukme Township administrative office to explain about EIA and SIA on July 7 2014. However, locals didn’t seem to want to relocate and there have been differences in the government’s report and views of the villagers.