Killer highway

Published: Friday 30 November 2001

the state appraisal committee in Vietnam has approved a controversial routing plan for the new Ho Chi Highway which cuts through the country's oldest national park, Cuc Phuong, housing many rare and endangered plant and animal species.

The approved plan has been submitted to the Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, an official of the project's management board informed. "Now that the committee has passed the plan, there should be no problems," she said. "I think the prime minister will give his nod to the plan soon."

Environmental groups have said the plan to run the highway through the Cuc Phuong park would put many endangered species at risk.The greens say Cuc Phuong is a global centre for plant diversity and home to Delacour's Langur, a critically endangered primate, as well as the grey headed fish eagle, tigers and elephants.

Craig Leisher, a programme director of the World Wildlife Fund, said he was against recommending building the highway through the park."There are technical reasons for the plan, but there are other reasons to keep the park intact," he stressed.

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