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Resettlement Goes Smoothly for Three Gorges Project

Nearly 1 million residents have been relocated to make way for the Three Gorges Project, the world's largest reservoir on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, an official in charge of the construction work said in Beijing Friday.

By the end of 2004, more than 980,000 residents had been relocated from the reservoir area, nearly 82 percent of all the 1.2 million who have to leave their home for the mammoth hydropower and water-control project, said Pu Haiqing, office manager of the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee, on the sidelines of the ongoing Third Session of the 10th National People's Congress.

Pu said nearly 85 percent of the migrants were from southwestern Chongqing Municipality and the remaining 15 percent from neighboring Hubei Province.
"To date, 160,000 migrants have moved to the booming coastal regions, including Shanghai and Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces," he added.

The areas where the residents lived will be flooded to make a reservoir after the 185-meter dam is completed in 2009.

The gigantic water-control project has produced notable benefits since it began water storage in 2003, Pu said. "Its combined power generation capacity may reach 100 billion kilowatt hours instead of the preset target of 89 billion kilowatt hours."

Eleven generators have been operating at the Three Gorges hydropower plant since July 10, 2003, when the first generator was put into operation. The project reported 5.3 billion yuan (US$640 million) of profit in 2004.
Launched in 1993, the Three Gorges Project is also designed to control flood on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze, China's longest river.

(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2005)

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Province Wide
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