Chinese dam builders set up 60 pillars for Tasang dam

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Shan Herald Agency for News 27 January 2008 

By Kwarn Lake

The Tasang dam implementation project on the Salween River in south central Shan State has started with up to 60 pillars installed by Chinese engineers, according to a reliable source from the border.

The huge pillars are about 17-30 yards long and have been set up on both sides of the Salween riverbank.  About 40 Chinese dam builders arrived on the dam site at the beginning of November 2007 and have started the dam construction since then.

"About 100 more Chinese engineers will come for the dam construction and for the Thai engineers. Initially they had about 30 and now there are just about 13 remaining," said the local source.

Also, over 50 soldiers from a Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 594, have set up a temporary camp on the west bank of Salween River in order to provide security for the dam project, added the source.

The Tasang dam is the largest of a series of proposed hydroelectric projects on the Nu/Salween River in south central Shan State, 40 km north of the Tasang river crossing, and about 130 kilometres from the Thai-Burmese border. The 7,110-megawatt, 228 metre high dam will be the tallest dam in all of Southeast Asia, according to Salween Watch.

Salween Watch was formed in February 1999, and is a coalition of different organizations and NGO's based in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, which deals with different Burma-related and environmental issues. It was set up with the primary aim of preventing the building of harmful hydroelectric power dams on the Salween River.