A group of 1,859 residents from the Three Gorges region became the latest and last batch of immigrants to arrive in Shanghai before the dam area is flooded next year.
They arrived at the city's Baoyang Wharf at the weekend, fulfilling Shanghai's share of resettling 5,505 people from Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.
Officials said the arrival of the immigrants in Shanghai meant the long-distance movement of residents from the dam area has effectively been completed.
Ou Huishu, chief director with Chongqing Municipal Migration Bureau, said more than 116,000 residents from Chongqing and Central China's Hubei Province has been resettled across the country since 1999.
Ou, who accompanied the latest batch of migrants to Shanghai, revealed that around a million residents in the Three Gorges area will have to move to make way for the gigantic hydropower project.
Ou said 500,000 people will have been relocated by the end of this year. The whole migration process is set to be completed by 2009 and the reservoir in the Three Gorges will begin to store water on June 1.
The newcomers to Shanghai, most of whom are farmers, will be settled in suburban areas of the city such as Chongming, Nanhui, Jinshan, Qingpu, Songjiang and Jiading. There is demand for farmhands in these districts and workers in neighboring township businesses, according to the publicity office of the municipal government.
Each immigrant family will be offered a new house, a plot of farmland, financial subsidies and some daily necessities, according to the office.
Publicity official Wang Wei also said children of the immigrant families could start school immediately.
According to the sources with the municipal government, more than 3,000 migrants to Shanghai have had their living conditions improved, with more than 30 percent working at local businesses or social institutions.
(China Daily September 2, 2002)