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Final Inspection Tour of Three Gorges Set to Begin
A third inspection tour for their location of residents in the Three Gorges reservoir area got underway on Monday.

The 20-day inspection tour will be carried out by 90 experts from the Office of the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee, the Land and Resources Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Communications Ministry, the State Environmental Protection Administration, the State Forestry Administration, the State Archives Administration and the Ministry of Railways.

The inspection team will carry out random checks on the relocation work of 12 counties and districts in Hubei Province and Chongqing Municipality in the reservoir area.

The inspection will focus on the relocation of farmers, the construction of new towns for the relocated, the relocation of industrial and mining establishments, special restoration projects, the protection of cultural relics, the sweeping of the reservoir bottom, archives management, environmental protection and prevention of geological disasters.

Given that the Three Gorges power station is scheduled to start generating electricity and its permanent sluice is scheduled to open to navigation next October, this will be the third and final inspection tour organized by China's Cabinet, the State Council, said Zhou Jinhua, vice-director of the Chongqing Immigration Bureau.

Two previous inspection tours were carried out at the end of 2002 and in January of 2003, respectively. To date, a total of 640,000 residents in the Three Gorges Dam area have been relocated in other areas of China to ensure the progress of the project.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2003)

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