ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Construction of high-speed Laos railway starts
The Lao government wants to start construction work on a 481-kilometer, high-speed railway linking Laos to China and Thailand in April.
The National Consulting Group, tasked with conducting the impact assessment study on the US$7 billion dollar project, has been ordered to speed up its work to hasten construction, the Vientiane Times said.
''The government has urged us to speed up the social and environmental impact assessment as construction of the railway will begin in April,'' said Videth Visounnalath, a spokesman for the National Consulting Group.
The railway will run from the Chinese border to the capital Vientiane.
Laos' communist government will need to pay villagers and city dwellers on the route for their land, as its 30 percent contribution to the project.
Many Vientiane residents whose property is due to be expropriated have expressed hopes that they will be adequately compensate.
China and Laos last year agreed to build a medium high-speed (200-kilometer-per-hour) rail link between Boten, Luang Namtha province and Vientiane, a distance of about 500 kilometers.
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