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More Efficient Support for Three Gorges Migrants Urged
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The top legislator has urged the country's localities and departments to support the Three Gorges Reservoir area more efficiently.

Other regions and departments across the country should help further improve the life quality of the migrants at the reservoir area, said Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, at an exhibition on the achievements of coordinated support for the reservoir area Wednesday.

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 government should make full use of the reservoir area's advantages in resources and geographical position, and attract more influential enterprises to invest there, said Wu.

The Three Gorges Project, the world's largest hydropower project, is built on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.

He called on the country to support the area to develop its own agriculture, tourism and processing industries and create more jobs for the migrants.

Meanwhile, efforts are needed to better protect the environment of the area, ensure the cleanness and safety of the reservoir water, and prevent geological disasters, said Wu.

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

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

With support coming in, people of the reservoir area should rely on their own efforts to build a new economic region, said Wu.

Infrastructure and public services should be improved in the area, while the wills of the migrants must be respected, said Wu.

The Three Gorges Project includes 26 generators and a dam to produce power and aid flood-control and river navigation.

The water level in the Three Gorges 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.

(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2006)

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