Thai residents along Mekong river demand to halt the construction of Xayaburi Dam

National News Bureau of Thailand, 15 October 2014

The Network of Thai People in 8 Mekong provinces has filed a petition to stop further construction of the Xayaburi Dam along the Mekong River.

Representatives from the network have asked the Administrative Court to demand the cancellation of the power purchasing agreement signed by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and the Xayaburi electricity generating company, which gave the power for these two companies to build the hydroelectric dam.

According Ms. Sor Rattanamanee Polklasai, a representative of the network, the filing was done to prohibit EGAT to proceed further with the construction of the dam, which is currently 40 percent complete.

The project was also deemed illegal by the law, as it had been approved without proper consent from all sides and was carried out without an assessment on how the dam could cause health and environmental impacts.

On June 24 of this year, the Supreme Administrative Court accepted a complaint from 37 villagers living along the riverbanks, asking EGAT to arrange public hearings and also conduct impact assessments before signing power purchasing deals.