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Beijing to relocate 20,900 rural dwellers by 2012
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Beijing plans to relocate 20,972 rural residents from mountains to plain areas or towns to improve their living conditions and the environment in the next five years.

The relocations involve 8,557 rural households in seven mountainous areas on the city's outskirts areas such as Fangshan, Mentougou, Miyun and Yanqing, said Municipal Rural Affairs Committee director Wang Xiaodong.

This year, the city plans to remove 2,173 households comprising 5,165 people, Wang said at an initial meeting for the program on Thursday.

The relocation subsidy of 13,000 yuan (US$1,857) per person had been arranged, he added.

Beijing carried out the first round of relocations from mountainous areas from 2004 to 2007. By the end of last year, the capital had relocated 30,585 people at a cost of more than 600 million yuan (US$85 million).

Wang said the first round of relocations had created secure homes for farmers and improved their living conditions.

The city still has about 36,000 people living in areas prone to mud-rock flows or in extremely poor environmental conditions.

(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2008)

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