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Clean-up Starts Around Three Gorges Reservoir
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China has started to clean up the area around the Three Gorges Reservoir in preparation for a planned rise of the reservoir's water level from 139 meters to 156 meters.


According to Pu Haiqing, deputy director of the State Council Three Gorges Project Construction Committee, the clean up will involve two cities, 13 counties or districts, 126 townships and 432 industrial and mining enterprises, covering a total residential area of 10.3 million square meters and 2,826 hectares of farmland and forests.


Septic tanks, methane-generating pits, manure pits and public squat toilets will be the main targets of the clean-up.


Pu said the purpose of the effort is to ensure water held in the reservoir is clear and hygienic.


The results of the work will be examined by local government authorities before August and the final examination will be conducted by the state council before September. Water will be raised to 156 meters in late September or early October.


The Three Gorges Dam will be completed in May this year, nine months ahead of schedule, when the main dam to reaches 185 meters.


The Three Gorges Project was launched in 1993 on the middle reaches of the Yangtze. So far, 14 of the 26 turbo-generators have been built on the northern bank of the Yangtze, generating a total 100 billion kw/hours of electricity. The first generator on the southern bank of the river will begin power generation in 2007.


The entire Three Gorges Project is expected to be completed in 2009. By then it will be able to generate 84.7 billion kwhs of electricity annually.


(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2006)

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