A Three Gorges Project official has said that 1.35 million residents in the dam area will need be relocated, 220,000 more than the original plan.
"Altogether 1.2 million people had moved out of the reservoir area by the end of 2006, which was 70,000 people more than the original plan, said Zhang Baoxin, a senior official with the Office with the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee of the State Council, on Tuesday.
"An additional 120,000 to 150,000 people will have to move out of the reservoir area and settle down elsewhere if the Three Gorges Project retains a water level of 175 meters behind the dam, " said the official at an annual work meeting of the China Yangtze River Three Gorges Project Development Corporation held here in Yichang, the nearest city to the site of the Three Gorges Project.
More than 47,000 more residents in the reservoir area will bid farewell to their ancestral homes and settle down elsewhere this year, at a cost of 5.5 billion yuan (about US$688 million).
Natural population growth and human migration are cited as the reasons behind the increase in the total number of people to be displaced.
The Three Gorges Project, the world's largest water control facility, is located on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest and one of the most important inland waterways for shipping in the country.
(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2007)