Vientiane Residents Affected by Laos-China Railway Project Still Await Compensation

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Vientiane Station. ( Photo: Laos-China Railway Company).

Almost two years after the completion of the Laos-China Railway, some residents in Vientiane Capital are still awaiting compensation for 308 plots of land that they had to relinquish for its construction.

Ms. Bouavone Souklaseng, head of the Vientiane Capital Planning and Investment Department, said from the 1,738 land plots that were acquired for the project, compensation has been handed out for 1,430, with 308 plots remaining. 

According to the official, by the end of this year, all affected residents will be fully reimbursed for the impact the railway has had on their lives and livelihood.  

When contacted by the Laotian Times, the Vientiane Capital Planning and Investment Department did not comment on the reason for the delay in compensation but vowed to address it with the relevant authorities to expedite the matter further.

Minister of Public Works and Transport, Dr. Viengsavath Siphandone, said at the National Assembly last year that concerned authorities would look at financially compensating locals who had to give up their land for the Laos-China Railway that started its operations in 2021. 

“In most of these cases, the affected people have not accepted the compensation rate approved by the people’s councils of the provinces that the Laos-China Railway runs through. Some land-owners have also not contacted the authorities to receive their compensation yet,” he said.

In 2022, a total of 1,018 families from 6,855 families waited for compensation of over LAK 200 billion, or around USD 11 million, for the construction of the railway in four provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Luang Namtha, and the capital of Vientiane.