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Hundreds to be compensated for losses when Vientiane expressway built

Vientiane Times: January 2, 2018 

Hundreds to be compensated for losses when Vientiane expressway built

Many billions of kip will be awarded in compensation to families and businesses who must give up their land and other property to make way for the planned 15-km expressway linking the city centre to Xaythany district.
The road, which will be built parallel to Kaysone Phomvihane Road, will run between Lao-ITECC in Xaysettha district and Dongmarkkhai village in Xaythany district.
The 54-metre wide road will cut through a large swathe of land and numerous buildings in the two districts will have to be demolished, even though Vientiane authorities have planned the route to avoid residential areas, as recommended by the project’s feasibility study.
In Xaysettha, the road will pass through the 10 villages of Hongkae, That Luang Tai, Huakhua, Vangxai, Nonsavang, Nongnieng, Hongsouphab, Phonphanao, Viengchaleun, and Xokyai.
In Xaythany, the road will run through the six villages of Nakhae, Xay, Xaysavang, Dongxanghin, Dontiew, and Dongmarkkhai.
In Xaysettha, the road will cross 345 land plots with 49 houses or other buildings, while in Xaythany 119 land plots containing 38 houses or other buildings will be affected.
In total, about 291 hectares of land will be needed for the expressway.
Deputy Director of the Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department, Mr Soulivanh Phommahaxay, said the road will be built alongside the main channel of the That Luang Marsh to avoid residential areas and minimise the impacts.
The feasibility study estimates that a maximum of US$50,000 will be needed to compensate the owners of 58 of the properties.
Another 20 properties will likely be eligible for US$50,001 to US$100,000 in compensation, while the owners of each of the remaining nine properties will be awarded payouts ranging from US$100,001 to US$300,000.
Vientiane authorities in charge of the project recently invited interested companies to submit bids for construction of the expressway.
Bidders are required to demonstrate that they are technically and financially capable of carrying out the work, including having sufficient resources to pay the full amount of compensation due to property owners, in line with Prime Minister’s Decree No. 84.
Under the decree, the compensation awarded must ensure that people are provided with better or similar living conditions compared to their circumstances prior to relocation.
The project will be carried out under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model, which is a form of project financing wherein a private entity receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct, own, and operate a facility as stated in the concession contract.
The concession agreement for the expressway will run for 50 years and can be extended under the Investment Promotion Law.
Construction of the expressway, which is estimated to cost between US$150 million and US$200 million, is expected to be complete before February 2021.
The road could handle as many as 75,000 vehicles a day, which will significantly ease traffic congestion in the city centre.

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