(March 2, 2006) A web of corruption and violence is now endemic in the world’s biggest dam construction site, according to a searing report released by Probe International.
A web of corruption and violence is now endemic in the world’s biggest dam construction site, according to a searing report released this week. The US$24 billion Three Gorges dam in China could spark half a century of social upheaval with over a million people expected to be uprooted by the project, says the report from Canadian anti-dam nonprofit Probe International.
“Resettlement has been rife with corruption … and it’s hard to believe the hasty relocations that are about to happen aren’t going to be even worse,” said the group.
The report, “Behind the Dark Curtains,” shows how farmers are robbed of their promised compensation, or stonewalled at every turn. It was unveiled as the huge displacement caused by the project is about to speed up. More than 300,000 people have been moved since 1993. And authorities are proposing to move another 200,000-250,000 by 2003.
The report’s anonymous author says the dam resettlement scheme has reached a critical stage. “The government and project authorities are covering up serious scandals ‘behind dark curtains’ and forcing disaffected migrants to move far away.”
Thursday this week will mark four years since China blocked the main channel of the Yangtze river to begin work on the two kilometer wide, 185 meter high hydroelectric dam that will create a 600 kilometer lake behind it.
Probe hopes publication of the report will break through government attempts to crush debate on the dam. It also hopes companies involved in the project – such as General Electric Canada – will come under increased pressure.
Late last year the U.S.-based organization Human Rights in China reported growing tension and violence over resettlement, and said it was disturbed at the government’s failure to address the grievances of those affected.
Another anti-dam group, International Rivers Network, has been urging people to cut up credit cards provided by one of the banks underwriting the Chinese bonds through which the dam is financed.
Yahoo! News, March 2, 2006
Categories: Three Gorges Probe