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Premier Calls for Better Resettlement of Migrants
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Premier Wen Jiabao has called on the governments and departments around the country to help the people and local governments around the Three Gorges reservoir.

Speaking at a national conference on the country's coordinated support of the Three Gorges area held here on Monday, Wen said other provinces and regions should do more to help resettle people who were displaced by the reservoir.

More than a million people, who mainly lived in 20 counties of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and central China's Hubei Province, were moved to make way for the Three Gorges Dam Project which submerged their lands.

The conference was urged to provide stronger support to the reservoir area so it can develop its own agriculture, tourism and processing industries and create more jobs for those who had to move.

More support is required for infrastructure construction, pollution control, environmental protection, and development of a recycling-based economy of the area.

Thirty-eight agreements involving economic cooperation and investment worth 28.3 billion yuan were signed at the conference

Governments and departments outside the Three Gorges area started to provide support for the region in 1992, a year before construction of the world's largest hydropower project began.

Since then, more than 27 billion yuan in aid from across the country has been offered to the area.

At the conference Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan urged a stable fund that is strictly supervised be established.

To better help the affected area the government should guide projects, funds, technologies and talents, and let the market, society and enterprises play their roles in boosting the self-development of the reservoir area, said officials.

The water level in the reservoir reached the 156-meter mark on October 27 and will eventually reach 175 meters in 2009, when the Three Gorges project is finally completed.

The Three Gorges Project, including a 2,309-meter-long and 185-meter-high dam and 26 generators, is built in three phases on the middle reaches of the Yangtze. The dam is now producing power and aiding flood-control and river navigation.

(Xinhua News Agency December 5, 2006)

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