Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji stressed the migration drive and moving-out of enterprises in the Three Gorges Project, China’s largest water conservation project on the Yangtze River, must be sped up to ensure the completion of the project for water-storage in less than two years.
Addressing the work conference on Three Gorges migration held from July 16-18 in Yichang, Hubei Province, the premier emphasized that construction quality is the essential part of the Three Gorges Project.
Zhu, also head of Three Gorges Project Construction Committee (TGPCC), urged that it is a must to focus on environmental protection, prevention of geologic hazards and ecological construction in the dam area and do a good job in the migration and resettlement of local people.
He added that efforts should still be made to control soil- erosion and environment pollution, protect natural forests and conduct afforestation programs in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, longest in China.
At the same time, development of high-tech agriculture, returning farmland to forests, construction of treatment plants for sewage and garbage should be urged.
Wu Bangguo, vice-premier and deputy head of the TGPCC, also attended the meeting and made a work report on the next-step in the migration campaign.
The meeting fully confirmed the achievements and progress made in the past years since the project was launched.
The major construction of the project has been going smoothly. At the same time, the committee and local governments have carried out comprehensive work on migration and restructuring the enterprises that have moved out.
The meeting urged all the builders to bear in mind their historical responsibility, and give top priority to the construction quality of this gigantic project.
The governments must work out systematic environmental protection measures for the hydropower project. Special funds for protecting the environment should be set up, and any official who misappropriate funds must be strictly punished.
The most important measures in the area’s protection of the environment and enterprises’ reform are to shut down industrial polluters, develop high-tech enterprises, and build waste treatment facilities.
The meeting called on departments concerned to speed up the restructuring of local enterprises, improve investment environment and complete the task of resettling local people to ensure that water storage in the dam can be completed by 2003.
The concerned departments are also responsible for helping local farmers or private traders reopen businesses or have farmland for plowing after moving out from the project area.
During the three-day meeting, Zhu and other officials visited major construction sites of the project and took a inspection tour on migration work in the area.
(Xinhua News Agency 07/18/2001)