Central China's Hubei province is to have all immigrants in the area where the south-to-north water diversion project was launched sign relocation contracts this year, said local authorities in a plan on Sunday.
According to the plan, 50,000 immigrants shall be relocated by 2010, 30,000 more will be relocated by 2011 and 87,000 others, including 65,000 from the rural areas and 22,000 urban citizens, will move to their new homes by 2012, said Wang Yuanliang, head of the immigration bureau of the province.
Immigration from the Danjiangkou area is a necessary step for construction of the central route of the massive hydro project, which involved 330,000 people, including 180,000 from Hubei and 150,000 from Henan in central China.
Both province started relocation work in November 2008. Hubei has planned to relocate the first batch of 12,000 people by the end of September.
China's south-to-north diversion project is designed to divert water from the water-rich south of the country, mainly from the Yangtze, up to the dry north.
The huge project consists of eastern, central and western routes. The first two routes are already under construction, while the western channel is still at the planning stage.