June 11, 2010
The more than 60-thousand Chinese citizens who will be pushed off of their land to make way for a massive South-North Water Diversion project are, according to one government official, ‘eager to move.’
According to recent reports, the relocation of 64,900 residents in central China’s Henan Province began Thursday and is expected to take place over the next three months.
Speaking about the relocations, Wang Shushan, head of Henan’s South-North water diversion office said, according to state media: “In general, the migrants were satisfied with the resettlement sites and were eager to move so as to get accustomed to the new environment as soon as possible.”
Another 86,100 people are slated to be resettled in a second move by 2011. In total, Xinhua says around 330,000 people in central Hubei and Henan provinces are to be relocated before the middle route of the water diversion project is completed in 2014.
The South-North Water transfer project is a massive water transfer that will channel water from areas in the south of the country to water-starved regions in the north—particularly Beijing, which is facing an increasingly severe water crisis. The project is expected to cost as much as $62-billion—more than double the official price tag for the controversial Three Gorges dam.
Since beginning construction, the project has continually faced escalating costs and unforeseen problems. Its completion date—originally set for 2010—has since been pushed back to 2014.
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