Resettlement begins for south-north water diversion project

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The resettlement of more than 64,900 residents began Thursday in central China's Henan Province to make way for a massive project that will divert water to arid north China.

The resettlement was expected to take three months, said Wang Shushan, head of Henan's south-north water diversion office.

The residents of 57 villages of Xichuan County were moving to more than 14,000 new homes in 70 sites in Henan.

In general, the migrants were satisfied with the resettlement sites and were eager to move so as to get accustomed to the new environment as soon as possible, Wang said.

Another 86,100 people would be resettled in a second move by 2011.

In a trial resettlement, almost 11,100 people moved to new homes from Aug. 16 to Sept. 2, 2009.

A total of 162,000 people are to be resettled in Henan. All are residents of Xichuan, which borders Danjiangkou Reservoir, source of the south-north water diversion project's middle route.

The project will divert water from the Yangtze River via three routes: eastern, middle and western.

According to project plans, about 330,000 people in central Hubei and Henan provinces are to be relocated before the middle route is completed in 2014.

The migrants are mostly residents on the banks of the Danjiangkou Reservoir, which forms the border of Hubei and Henan provinces.

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