Korean Govt. Responds to BAI Evaluation on Four-River Project [Arirang News]

Korean Govt. Responds to BAI Evaluation on Four-River Project [Arirang News]


Just one day after the state auditor slammed
President Lee Myung-bak’s multi-billion dollar project to refurbish Korea’s four major rivers,…
related ministries shot back. Heo Seung-ha reports. The Korean government was quick to respond
to the state auditor’s critical evaluation of the president’s signature four-river project. In short, the report stated that the project
was poorly constructed and mismanaged. The Minister of Land, Transport and Maritime
Affairs, who is responsible for the project, took the lead. “Under all circumstances, the dams themselves
are safe, and they can properly retain water and flow it downstream.” Minister Kwon, however, did recognize that
there were some flaws in the facilities that protect the bottom of the river, but said
the problem would be resolved once the ongoing reinforcement works are completed. The Ministry of Environment, also involved
in the project said, it’s too early to assess the water quality of the rivers. “It’s been less than a year since the project
was completed. Water quality is decided by various factors including weather conditions
and changes in pollutants. A long-term approach is necessary to objectively evaluate the project.” Minister Yoo also said that it applied a different
water quality standard from the one used by the audit agency, and the algae present existed
even before the project began. However, she did promise to review the agency’s
report when establishing future policies. The ministry statements were in response to
a Board of Audit and Inspection report Thursday… that said the government’s 20-billion dollar
project, aimed at improving the nation’s water management system and preventing rivers from
flooding, was rife with problems. The report said that the river bed protection
facilities at 15 out of 16 dams were damaged from high water pressure caused by the opening
and closing of floodgates, because the facilities were too small for the large dams. It also pointed out that the dams obstruct
water flow. The state auditor says… the system used
to monitor the level of water contamination and the concentration of algae both jumped
by nearly 10 and two-percent respectively. Heo Seung-ha, Arirang News.