The Marmot's Hole

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Tag: Four Rivers Project

Your tax money at work—Four Rivers Project serious effed up

I’m shocked, I tell you! Shocked!

President Lee Myung-bak’s signature project to refurbish South Korea’s four major rivers is seriously flawed, posing a threat to the environment and even threatening dams and other facilities built along them, the state auditor said Thursday.

The 22.2 trillion won (US$20.1 billion) project, aimed at enhancing the nation’s water management system as well as preventing the Han, Nakdong, Geum and Yeongsan rivers from flooding, was completed last year, despite mounting criticism.

The project, one of Lee’s campaign pledges, has been at the center of controversy ever since due to the possible adverse influence it might have on the environment as well as allegations of shoddy construction.

22.2 trillion won to build poorly constructed dams and worsen water quality. Brilliant.

President-elect Park Geun-hye’s people are talking about forming a committee to reevaluate the project after she takes office, leading some to speculate about tensions between Park and outgoing president Lee Myung-bak. I say Park can reevaluate all she likes, but most of the damage is already done, and all a committee can likely do is tell us how much more money we’ll need to spend to mitigate the harm.

Low-Cost Riverside Bicycle-Camping with KTO

On the June 2-3 weekend,  the Korea Tourism Org is hosting a “Bike Camp” at Ipobo camping village, Yeoju-gun County, Gyeonggi Province. 40 bus seats are available departing from KTO’s Jongno building at 9am June 2nd.  For 20,000 you can get a seat and free access to bikes, horse rides, kayaking, water rafting and a BBQ meal.  You must bring your own camping gear or rent it at the site.  There is probably space under the coach to bring your own bikes and ride them back to Seoul along the Han River the next day if you want to.  Bus departs for return to Seoul at 12pm on Sunday.  “Families and fun people” are warmly invited, they do say.  Please contact Roger Shepherd roger@hikekorea.com if you’d like to attend or find out more.  This is part of the Four Rivers Bike-Trails project.

A Four Rivers Project Summary

The Economist has a neat little summary of the current state of LMB’s Four Rivers Project, which has drawn criticism from many quarters for its failure to protect threatened species as well as its budgetary excesses.  The article is here.

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