Vientiane Times January 3, 2017
By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
The urban centre of Kasy district in Vientiane province will be relocated to an area near the Kasy road to allow for construction of the Laos-China railway.
A plot of flat land located in the Kasy road area has been allocated, requiring the relocation of about 400 houses and government offices that currently line Road 13 North.
Director of the provincial Public Works and Transport Department, Mr. Soumountha Somchanmavong, told Vientiane Times on Friday that dirt roads have already been built in the area where the town will be relocated.
About 400 buildings will need to be demolished as the railway will pass through the town and a 100-metre section of land will be fenced off along either side of the railway in this part of Kasy.
�We have suggested that a 50-metre section of land bordering either side of the railway be fenced off but we don’t know if the railway management will allow this,� Mr Soumountha said.
If railway officials accept the 50 metre measurement, not all of the 400 properties will have to move.
On the other hand, the relocation of the urban centre of Kasy district may serve to ease traffic congestion and other developmental issues. The town’s current setting is unsuited to socio-economic development, officials say.
The present location does not meet the regulations set by the government and the town’s layout is the cause of traffic congestion in the area.
Staff working in the Kasy district Administration Office say they are often interrupted by noise from outside, adding that a lot of this noise comes from the market and bus station, which are located next to the office.
One official said she doesn’t understand why the district authorities have chosen to relocate the town, rather than develop the town as it currently is. �The market gets very muddy in the wet season and is also dirty in the dry season.�
A bridge over the Mekong River in Luang Prabang province will be part of the planned 417-km railway running from the Chinese border to Vientiane through the provinces of Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, and Vientiane.
In Luang Namtha province, the railway will pass through the district of Luang Namtha, while in Oudomxay it will pass through the districts of Xay, Nga and Namor.
In Luang Prabang province it will pass through the districts of Chomphet, Luang Prabang and Xiengngeun, and in Vientiane province it will pass through the districts of Hinheup, Vangvieng, Kasy and Phonhong.
The railway is estimated to cost US$5.8 billion and will run from the border area of Boten in Luang Namtha province to Vientiane. It is scheduled for completion in 2021 and is 70 percent owned by China and 30 percent by Laos.