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80,000 to Be Evacuated for Dam's Rising Water
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Some 80,000 residents in the Three Gorges dam area in central China are to be resettled to pave the way for the water to rise from 135 meters to 156 meters this year.

Ruan Limin, deputy director of the Chongqing Resettlement Bureau, said the resettlement program, in phase four of the construction of the world's largest hydro-power project, will be launched between September and October.

These residents, mainly farmers, will be relocated to newly-built villages in the Chongqing municipality, where 2.35 million square meters of housing will be built, Ruan said.

The Three Gorges Dam project, which was launched in the early 1990s, is designed to tame China's longest river of Yangtze and generate electricity to fuel economic growth along the country's longest river.

About 1.25 million people, mainly in Chongqing Municipality, will have left their homes to accommodate the giant project by the time it is completed. Since the trial resettlement work started in 1985, Chongqing has displaced 958,000 local residents away from the dam area.

(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2006)

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