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Dak Nong says no to ecotourism project at five-tier waterfall

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HCMC – The Dak Nong government has prohibited the owner of a hydropower plant from barricading a five-tier waterfall in Dak Sin Commune to develop an ecotourism project due to various bottlenecks.

The government of the Central Highlands province told Tuoi Tre Online on July 6 that it had written to the investor of the Dak R’keh hydropower plant project asking it to focus on the hydropower project in the upstream of the waterfall.

Many residents have voiced their opposition to the five-megawatt project over fears that the waterfall might be omitted from the list of tourist attractions.

On June 7, 2018, Dai An Hydropower Company, an investor of the hydropower plant project, expressed interest in investing in an ecotourism project at the waterfall, according to the Dak Nong Department of Planning and Investment.

The project, which is estimated to require VND30 billion, is expected to capitalize on the strength and advantage of the five-tier waterfall covering an area of 10 hectares, noted Dai An Company.

However, the provincial department disapproved the firm’s plan, as the waterfall and its surrounding area were not listed in the zoning plan for development in the province.

Besides this, in the land use plan of the province, the area has been identified as the land of growing perennial plants, so it is illegal to develop a tourism project in the area.

Apart from this, of the 10 hectares proposed for the tourism project, 1.5 hectares belongs to the Nam Cat Tien Protective Forest area in Lam Dong Province.

Phan Cong Viet, deputy director of the Dak Nong Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that if Dai An Company builds both a hydropower plant and develops an ecotourism project at the waterfall, it will have to bear responsibility for maintaining the natural beauty of the waterfall.

Viet added that the provincial government will not let the firm develop the two projects as the investor has yet to prove its financial capacity.

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