Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Audit slams S. Korea's $20 bn river project
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Jan 18, 2013

South Korea's state auditor on Friday panned President Lee Myung-Bak's $20 billion effort to dredge, dam and beautify four major rivers, saying it was riddled with costly flaws.

Revitalising the Han, Nakdong, Geum and Yeongsan rivers was the centrepiece of the outgoing president's "Green New Deal", a bold plan to create jobs after the 2008 global downturn.

Started in 2009, the 22.2 trillion won ($20.1 billion) project saw the construction of 16 weirs and dams along the four rivers that were straightened and dredged to improve water quality and prevent flooding.

But a report by the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) suggested the three-year effort had fallen far short.

"Due to faulty designs, 11 out of 16 dams lack sturdiness, water quality is feared to deteriorate... and excessive maintenance costs will be required," the report said.

The government minister in charge of the project, Kwon Do-Youp, insisted that additional work to repair structural weaknesses was already close to completion.

"There are absolutely no problems with the safety and functions of these key structures," Kwon told reporters.

The BAI report said tight timetables meant work was pushed through without proper inspection and the river bed protection of 15 dams had partially subsided or been washed away.

Silting would require another round of dredging at an estimated cost of 289 billion won, it added.

"Preparations were not thorough, while the construction period was too short," Yu In-Jae, director of the BAI's Construction and Environment Bureau, told AFP.

As water became stagnant behind the dams, the amount of organic pollutants surged above pre-construction levels, the report said.

But Environment Minister Yoo Young-Sook said it was too early to assess the project's impact on water pollution, which is also affected by rainfall and upstream polluting sources.

The ruling New Frontier Party (NFP) said parliament should discuss how to proceed with the project as president-elect Park Geun-Hye prepares to take office in a month's time.

"It is going to be a burden on the new government as it is said to require a huge sum for maintenance and repair," NFP spokesman Lee Sang-Il said.

The auditor's report raises doubts over South Korea's plans to export the project to countries including flood-prone Thailand, Morocco, Algeria and Paraguay.

The Korean Federation of Environmental Movement says Lee's government was seeking to "export a lie".

At a meeting of government ministers on Tuesday, the president labelled NGOs campaigning against the project as "very anti-state and unpatriotic", according to his spokesman.

The project had targeted the creation of 340,000 jobs and an economic boost of 40 trillion won, including the trickle-down effects of tourism.

A network of bicycle lanes was also constructed along the river banks, stretching more than 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles).


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Brazil state bank to invest $11 billion in Amazon dam
Rio De Janeiro (AFP) Nov 26, 2012
Brazil's state-run development bank BNDES said Monday it had approved $11.25 billion in loans to finance construction of the controversial Belo Monte mega-dam in the Amazon basin. "The BNDES management approved 22.5 billion reales ($11.25 billion) in loans to the Norte Energia (consortium) for construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on the Xingu River" in the northern state of Para, ... read more

Canada to resettle up to 5,000 Iranian, Iraqi refugees

China factory fire hidden by thick smog: media

Allianz sticks to profit goal despite Hurricane Sandy hit

Hannover Re hit by 261-million-euro loss from Sandy

New surfaces repel most known liquids

Sustainable reinforcement for concrete has newly discovered benefits

ECAPS signs contract with Skybox for complete propulsion system

Boeing Grows Composite Manufacturing Capability in Utah

Rare dolphin species threatened by big fishnets

New UMass Amherst Research Shows Fishways Have Not Helped Fish

Beijing water supply at risk?

Audit slams S. Korea's $20 bn river project

New Antarctic geological timeline aids future sea-level predictions

Russian national park to bridge US-Russia divide

Will changes in climate wipe out mammals in Arctic and sub-Arctic areas?

Global warming opening up Russia's Arctic

Amino Acid Studies May Aid Battle Against Citrus Greening Disease

Potential harvest of most fish stocks largely unrelated to abundance

China crash sees cats escape cooking pot

How does your garden glow?

Eleven dead, two missing as floods swamp central Jakarta

Four children die in Mozambique floods

Mozambique floods kill 2, destroy homes

Volcano lava flows worry Italian island

Hollande, in Gulf, defends France's Mali offensive

French marines in Mali wait for orders to join the fight

Mali Islamists flee bases, battered by French airstrikes

U.S. frets it'll get dragged into Mali war

Chimpanzees successfully play the Ultimatum Game

Gene flow from India to Australia about 4,000 years ago

Eliminating useless information important to learning, making new memories

Tech world crawling into the crib

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement