China to give more aid to Three Gorges Reservoir migrants

China Daily, May 30, 2011

Improving the living standards of people displaced by the construction of the Three Gorges Reservoir while increasing economic and social prosperity will be a top priority for the government, a senior official said on Sunday.

Nie Weiguo, chief of the executive office with the State Council's Three Gorges Project Construction Committee, said it will be important to see if the relocation of residents has gone smoothly and if residents' well-being has been protected when attempts are made to gauge the project's success.

Nie was commenting on a guideline concerning the government's follow-up work on the reservoir. The State Council issued the guideline on May 18.

According to it, the government will increase industrial restructuring, boost employment incentives, and improve the social security aid offered to the residents.

The government also vowed to protect the environment, take steps to prevent geological disasters over the long term and better manage the effects of the project on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

The main body of the Three Gorges Dam is located in the town of Sandouping, in central Hubei province, and was completed in May 2006.

Since 1993, when the project was started, 1.35 million people have been moved to make way for the construction of the largest hydroelectric dam in the world.

China is also building a Three Gorges Museum in southwestern Chongqing municipality in honor of the residents who have been moved. The museum is scheduled to open at the end of the year.