1.05 mln people in Three Gorges dam area resettled

More than 1.05 million residents in the Three Gorges dam area, the world's biggest hydroelectric project, have been successfully relocated over the past two decades, according to an official in charge of the operation.

The number accounts for 82.6 percent of the 1.13 million peopleplanned to be displaced from their ancestral habitat in the water diversion project area, according to Cao Guangjing, deputy managerwith the company in charge of the development of the water conservation facility.

Cao said most of the resettled people are satisfied with their new lives, enjoying better living conditions.

China began an eight-year trial resettlement in 1985 in the Three Gorges area and officially launched the operation in 1993 when the construction of the 185-meter-high dam started on the middle reaches of China's longest river Yangtze River.

By the end of July this year, nearly 42.9 billion yuan (5.3 billion US dollars) had been earmarked for relocating residents and removing enterprises from the area, building houses and resuming various infrastructural facilities.

Of the investment, 21 billion yuan (2.6 billion US dollars) were donated by 21 Chinese provinces and municipalities, more than10 large and medium-sized cities, and 50-plus government departments to help the mammoth endeavor.

Involving an investment of 203.9 billion yuan (about 25.2 billion US dollars), the Three Gorges dam project, expected to be completed in 2009, was designed to help control heavy floods on the Yangtze River and increase China's power supply.

China has injected 121.6 billion yuan (14.9 billion US dollars)in the project so far, accounting for about 60 percent of the initial budget, according to the company.

It is expected the cost will be restrained to within 180 billion yuan (over 22 billion US dollars) thanks to a reasonable investment management system applied for in past years.

Source: Xinhua

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