Three Gorges Probe

Massive Chongqing exodus planned for dam project

March 9, 1999

BEIJING, Mar. 09, 1999 — (Reuters) China will resettle 400,000 people from around the southwestern city of Chongqing in the next five years to make way for the giant Three Gorges Dam project, the state-run Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.

Chongqing has already moved 120,000 people and planned to relocate a total of 1.07 million people, vice major of Chongqing and National Party Congress (NPC) member Gan Yuping was quoted as saying.

An additional 300,000 people will be resettled from the Wanzhou area of Chongqing by 2003 with funds of 8.4 billion ($1.01 billion) to be spent on the project, Zhang Yuanzhu, head of Wanzhou district and NPC deputy was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

Five new towns, 33 villages and more than 2,500 hectares (6,177 acres) of land had been developed in the region by last November, he said.

Authorities began resettling another two million people living lower down the Yangtze River last week.

China says the dam project will help solve the perennial problem of flooding along the Yangtze — China’s longest river.

International and domestic critics have voiced skepticism about the dam’s flood-control value and questioned its high financial and human costs.

Devastating floods along the Yangtze last summer caused 200 billion yuan in damage, killed 1,384 people and left 21 million people homeless.

Categories: Three Gorges Probe

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