Three Gorges Dam Project sparks new relocation
China still has to move another 350,000 people out of the Three Gorges area in the coming six years to make way for the world's most gigantic hydroelectric project, migration officials said.
A total of 1.17 million people, among whom 820,000 have been resettled, have to move out of their homes in the reservoir areas in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and its neighboring Hubei Province before the Three Gorges Dam project is completed in 2009.
The central government has allocated 4 billion yuan (US$482 million) in a special compensation fund earmarked to build new houses and enterprises and infrastructure facilities for the migrants in 2004 as about 114,510 people have to be resettled this year, mostly in Chongqing.
To date, over 27 million square metres of housing has been set up across the country for the relocated people, according to the statistics of the Committee for the Construction of the Three Gorges Project under the State Council.
Meanwhile, two cities, 11 county seats and thousands of townships, along with 1,100 industrial and mining enterprises, have been moved from the reservoir areas, said Lu Chun, an official from the committee.
Lu said that more than 50 billion yuan (US$6 billion), including 37.5 billion yuan (US$4.5 billion) from the central government and 15.8 billion yuan (US$1.9 billion) raised from other channels, has been injected into the project.
Most of the 130,000 laid-off workers from bankrupt and closed companies in the reservoir area have been re-employed, he said.
The Three Gorges project started in 1993 and it was designated to generate electricity and contain floods on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
Six generators of the project went into operation in 2003, producing 8.6 billion kwh of electricity in total. Under the State target, the Three Gorges Dam Project will produce 30.9 billion kwh of electricity this year.
With a total investment of 180 billion yuan (US$21.76 billion), the project is scheduled for completion in 2009 and is expected to generate 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually for China, which has been hit by power shortage in recent years.