An image of a truck transporting timber that rolled over in Bolikhamxay Province went viral this week, drawing criticism from social media users who believed the incident to be related to illegal logging.
Mr. Phethachon Keophouthavong, Head of the Bolikhamxay Department of Agriculture and Forestry, clarified the issue in an interview with Lao National Radio.
He said that after investigations by his department, it was found that the timber belonged to a company that had been fully authorized to undertake logging in an area near the Nam Theun 1 Hydropower Project.
According to Mr. Phethachon, Duangchalern Development Construction Group has received a concession from the government to extract 60,000 cubic meters of timber from an area flooded by the Nam Theun 1 Dam.
Douangchaleun has been extracting timber at the site since 2017 but has had difficulty removing trees because of the remote location of the site. The company has had to use boats to access the area and undertake underwater logging.
Due to the difficult nature of the work, it has been able to extract only 40,000 cubic meters so far.
Mr. Phetthachon said that social media users must ensure they understand a situation clearly before rushing to criticize, while the media should ensure that information disseminated to the public is accurate.
Duangchalern Development Construction Group made headlines recently when the company announced its involvement in a Smart City project in Vientiane Capital.
The company has also designed and implemented a feasibility study for construction of a new expressway linking Vientiane Capital with Pakse.