Three Gorges Probe

Report: Petitioners complain of corruption around dam in China

February 14, 1999

BEIJING (AP) — People being forced out of their homes by China’s massive Three Gorges Dam have accused resettlement officials of corruption, an environmental lobbying group said Sunday.

International Rivers Network said people from the dam area in central China sent three petitions to the government complaining that officials were extorting fees, accepting bribes and withholding compensation.

More than 1.3 million people are being moved to make way for the dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project.

The Berkeley, Calif.,-based group said official unwillingness to tackle corruption and other problems surrounding the dam was “paving the way for serious conflict.” It appealed to Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji to investigate.

“Once conflict breaks out, it will be too late for the central government to send down officials to handle the matter,” the group quoted one of the petitions as saying.

Intended to control flooding along the Yangtze River and supply needed power for economic development, the dam will create a 350-mile-long reservoir. The project is scheduled for completion in 2009.

Chinese officials have denied that serious problems exist with relocating people from the area. An official newspaper, the China Daily, reported Friday that resettlement was “progressing smoothly.”

International Rivers Network said representatives for 10,000 of 15,329 people being moved from one affected township submitted a petition to the central government in Beijing in November 1997.

The petitioners claimed they should be getting about $2,415 each in compensation, instead of the $1,300 allotted to them by local officials, the group said.

The government later told the petitioners that local officials were entitled to withhold some of the money to pay for roads and other public works needed to relocate people, it said.

Groups have since filed two more petitions detailing other official abuses and instances of corruption.

Categories: Three Gorges Probe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s