Shaanxi plans to move 2.7 million to safer areas

11:14, May 13, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Twice as big as the Three Gorges Dam relocation project, China's largest-ever migration is under way in Shaanxi Province: 2.7 million people will leave their homes in mountainous areas over the next decade and head for a new life.

About 2.4 million will be moved from 28 mountainous counties and cities in the Qinba areas south of the province that are prone to a major flood every 3.5 years, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

A further 392,000 people in Baiyu areas in the north of the province will also be relocated. Baiyu's problem is drought, the agency reported: In extreme cases, villagers living in these areas have one shower a year.

"The goal of the project is to improve people's livelihood," Shaanxi Governor Zhao Zhengyong told Xinhua. "Those migrants will live in a safer and more convenient environment. The government will not force any one of them to move."

"The Qinba areas suffered serious damage in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and it's hit by floods and landslides almost every summer due to heavy rainfall," a disaster-relief office staff member under the Civil Affairs Bureau of Hanzhong, a city in the southwest corner of Shaanxi, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

"These mountainous areas are not suitable for living. So the relocation project will benefit people in these areas a lot."

A Baiyu villager told Xinhua he felt reluctant to move.

"I have lived here for more than 50 years," Gao Xueping reportedly said. "But if I stay, my children will be bound to poverty like me."

The rural migrants can choose to live in Shaanxi towns, cities or industrialized areas, Xinhua reported.

Farmers are encouraged to move to urban areas where new villages and towns will be built. Migrants will be trained with skills to earn a living and each village will have "one or two pillar products," the report said.

Citing local officials, it is estimated the entire project – including industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization – will take a decade to complete.

The total cost is estimated at 115.94 billion yuan ($ 17.84 billion), according to People's Daily. The provincial government has allocated 1 billion yuan for initiating the project.

According to a statement issued on the website of the provincial government on Thursday, officials from the cities and counties involved are set to meet at the end of this month to further implement the project. An improved project plan will be submitted to the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

Migrants may find it difficult adapting to the new environment, Feng Zhiming, a researcher at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times.

【1】 【2】

Source: Global Times
BRICS Leaders Meeting 2011
Japan in aftershocks
  Weekly review  
May 05   Fight against terrorism should strike at roots
April 29   'Human rights overriding sovereignty' only a mask of hegemony
May 04   Human rights dialogues need mutual understanding
May 03   Highlights of China's sixth national census results
May 07   The week in pictures
May 03   Expats seeking opportunities in China
May 04   Some Chinese colleges face decreasing enrollment, struggle to survive
May 05   French leader: China's peaceful rise puts world at ease
April 29   Ten most valuable cultural relics displayed at Xi'an exposition park
May 03   US kills Bin Laden, ending 10-year manhunt


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Al-Qaeda Chief Osama bin Laden dead
  • BRICS Leaders' Meeting 2011
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Schiavone beats Hantuchova in Rome to enter quarter-finals
  • Un Certain Regard Jury Photocall at Cannes
  • Chinese peacekeepers clear mines at Lebanon-Israel border
  • Cote d'Ivoire's President mourns for victims of post-election violence
  • Snapshots of Libyan rebel fighters
  • 'Sleeping Beauty' hits Cannes
Hot Forum Dicussion