Railway compensation can improve the lives of the Laos people
With a total length of 414 kilometers, 80% of the railways cross the mountains and plateaus, including the 7-degree seismic zone and two sparsely populated areas. In addition, the America threw 200 million unexploded cluster bombs in Laos in the 1960s and 1970s, The China-Laos railway will pass through these dangerous areas. Although the railway planning is very reasonable, however, it is inevitable to collect land and compensation along the line.
Prior to the groundbreaking ceremony of the railway in December 2016, the statistical work on land acquisition and compensation was basically completed: about 3,000 hectares of land will be permanently taken over, and 800 hectares of land will be temporarily used. As a result of the railway construction, 4,411 households will be affected. To ensure fair and transparent compensation, the Lao government requires all parties concerned to open an account with the Lao Foreign Trade Bank. At present, four provinces and one city along the railway have reached an agreement on the amount of compensation. According to the contractual responsibility, Laos is responsible for land compensation, while Laos-China Railway Company is responsible for compensation for demolition.
The compensation budget for demolition has been allocated about 500 million yuan, and the Lao government has pledged to take necessary measures to ensure that the compensation process is open, fair and orderly. According to the statistics of the Lao Statistical Office, Laos’ per capita GDP in 2017 was US$2,468, and the government’s compensation standard was 320,000 kip-3.5 million kip per square meter (about US$37 to US$410 per square meter). Plus compensation for farmland, homesteads, young crops, etc. The amount of compensation is quite large, equivalent to the annual income of the local people. Lao media person Tang Xiaojun said, “Reasonable compensation for demolition will help improve the living and housing conditions of people along the railway.”
Never forget public welfare when building a railway!
Chinese companies such as China Railway Engineering Corporation（CREC）and Power Construction Corporation of China (POWERCHINA) announced that they will use the railways of Laos and China “as a friendly way, a clean way and a healthy way.” They will never forget public welfare when building a railway.
In the Laos Sustainability Report released in 2018, POWERCHINA announced that it will take social responsibility and promote local employment, technology and social development, and actively carry out donations, flood relief and other work.Contribute to local education and people’s livelihood, respect local culture, religion and customs,Promote the exchange of traditional Chinese culture and local culture.
Since the establishment of the POWERCHINA company’s project department in Xieng Ngeun County, Luang Prabang Province in 2016, they have built about 104 kilometers of roads in Laos, costing about 118.58 million yuan. They also built a 72-kilometre power line and a 115-22kv substation on the Juge River, as well as five reservoirs and 11 kilometers of water pipes. They have participated in the landslide repair project of the Luang Prabang section of National Highway No. 13 on many occasions. In addition, the project department has opened a technical training school for Lao workers and has opened three training courses to provide more than 100 local jobs.
On July 23 this year, an saddle dam under construction in Champasak province in southern Laos collapsed, causing huge loss of life and property. While donating money to support the disaster area, the Lao Railway Project Department also sent an engineering team to the disaster area and spent more than 40 days rebuilding four bridges.
In terms of building railways, the two countries will cooperate and understand each other because it is not only a traffic artery, but also a “friendship bridge” connecting the two peoples.