How much should be paid for a visit to the world's largest
hydroelectric project. The answer of a Chinese legislator is
Peng Fuchun, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC),
said he would make a suggestion to the NPC, the country's top
legislature, at its upcoming annual session that the Three Gorges
Dam is open free of charge to all tourists.
"The Three Gorges Project should be taken as a live textbook
showcasing national strength and promoting science and patriotism
education instead of as a means of profit-making," said Peng, also
a philosophy professor with the Wuhan University of central China'
s Hubei Province, where the Three Gorges Dam is
"What's more, all the people in China has made contribution to
constructing the project by paying an additional sum in their
electricity bills, let alone dam builders and the millions of
people who have been resettled due to the project," said Peng.
"To charge 105 yuan (13.5 U.S. dollars) for each visitor has
hurt the interests of the people," said the professor.
The top of the dam, near Yichang City in western Hubei Province,
originally opened to visitors in 2005. The scene is specifically
spectacular from July to September when the Yangtze River is in
Only 1,000 visitors are allowed on top of the dam each day and
they have a chance to enjoy a grand view of water being discharged
from the dam. The maximum discharge capacity was 11,610 cubic
meters per second, the world's largest.
The dam site received 1.18 million visitors in 2006, 27 percent
up year on year, according to the Three Gorges Tourism Development
The dam, 2,309 meters long and 185 meters high, was completed in
May last year, raising water level in the reservoir to 156 meters
and triggering visitor booms.
A neighboring theme park to commemorate the damming of the
Yangtze River nearby was opened to public on Oct. 1, becoming
another popular attraction, according to the tourism development
Peng said the cost-free policy will attract more visitors to the
dam site, helping boost local economic development.
"Many large hydroelectric projects in other countries have
adopted the practice and it proves profitable, why shouldn't we?"
Construction of the Three Gorges Project was launched in 1993
and will be completed in 2009.
(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2007)