Source: Vientiane Times
A US$65-million-plus Mekong River Integrated Management Project in Pakse town, Champassak province is set to begin construction at the end of this year, officials in charge of the project have confirmed.
The project comprises four components including the construction of an embankment along the Mekong and Xedon rivers which totals over 16 km in length.
Other components include the construction of a 2 km road, a 10.6-hectare public park which will be the first one ever to be built in the province, and a drainage system.
The whole project is expected to take five years to complete with a total cost amounting over US$65.6 million.
Of the total figure, over US$53 million is sourced through a low-interest loan from the Republic of Korea while US$12 million is to be contributed from provincial authorities.
US$6 million is being spent to clear various natural barriers on the project site as well as local people affected by the project.
Deputy Governor of Champassak province Mr Buasone Vongsongkhone told Vientiane Times on Friday that the compensation process has now been completed.
“We have prepared groundwork for this project since 2011 while sourcing funding to finance it,” Mr Buasone said.
Champassak provincial authorities also approved three companies from the Republic of Korea last week who will play a role in providing consulting services for the project.
A consulting service contract for the project was also signed in the province last Tuesday between representatives from the Champassak Provincial Department of Public Works and Transport and Dohwa Engineering Company and LTEC Company.
Mr Buasone said the Korean companies will carry out detailed project design which is aimed to create attractive features for the province.
“There are several reasons for operating this project. The first reason is to build the river embankment to protect against city flooding. The embankment will also serve as a place for local people to watch the boat racing festival annually,” Mr Buasone said.
Another reason, he said, is that the project will serve as a place for local people to relax and attract more tourists to the province.
Pakse is the biggest town in southern Laos, serving as an economic hub for provinces in the far south.
There is still no public park for local people to walk or relax in and therefore this project has an important role in changing the image of the town.