Thousands of Lao families ordered from their land and homes to make way for a high-speed railway linking the country with China are still waiting for compensation promised by their government though construction has surged ahead, sources in the country say.
Plans now call for work on the railway to end in 2021, with Chinese companies promising completion by that date despite the challenges of boring tunnels in mountainous areas of the country’s north.
Landlocked Laos expects the railroad to lower the cost of exports and consumer goods while boosting socioeconomic development in the impoverished nation of nearly 7 million people.
Under Lao Decree 84 issued in April 2016, Lao citizens losing land to development projects must be compensated for lost property and income, with project owners guaranteeing that living conditions for those displaced will be at least as good as they were before the project began.
In Chaengsavang village in the Na Xaythong district of the capital Vientiane, meanwhile, construction crews have measured and staked out the railroad’s proposed route and begun to build, though no one has spoken yet to affected households about compensation, a local resident recently told RFA’s Lao Service Tiếp tục đọc “Lao Citizens Displaced by China-Linked Railroad Project Still Not Paid For Losses”