“It would be better if local residents refrain from building property anywhere close to the proposed railway as this will create extra complications with regard to the compensation process,” Laos-China Railway Project Manager Dr Koung Souk-aloun said.
Village residents consulted higher authorities through the National Assembly on the recommendation of village officials, hoping for answers on whether the project would go ahead so they could make plans accordingly. The railway will run for a distance of 421km between Boten near the Chinese border and Vientiane. It will be part of a regional rail link known as the Kunming-Singapore railway. Despite uncertainty about the future of the railway, project officials have laid out markers indicating the route the track will take, including the section through Vientiane.
Hotline callers put questions about when construction of the railway would start, where they would move to if necessary, and how they would be compensated for the loss of any property. Dr Koung said all decisions would be announced after Lao and Chinese officials came to an agreement about construction in principle.
In central Vientiane the railway will pass near the Donnoun junction alongside Road 13 North in the direction of Khoksa-at village. Dr Koung asked people living near the planned route of the railway not to install any fixed infrastructure as there could be changes to the present plan. The authorities may use aerial photography to determine whether property was built before or after the installation of railway line markers, he added.