Full-Scale Evacuation From Three Gorges Set For 1994
BEIJING (AP) _ Full-scale evacuation and resettlement of more than 1 million people living near the massive Three Gorges dam project will begin next year, an official newspaper said today.
The resettlement program will be the largest ever in China and will cost at least $5.2 billion, the China Daily quoted Vice Premier Zou Jiahua as saying.
The government has relocated about 5,350 people over the past eight years in order to test its resettlement procedures. The evacuation is necessary to make way for a reservoir that will be created when the dam is built in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, at a place known as the Three Gorges.
Dam construction is due to start in 1995, but ground-clearing and construction of secondary structures has already begun.
The dam will be the largest in the world and will supply electricity for industrial development of much of east-central China.
The project is controversial, however, because some experts say the dam will increase flooding along parts of the river, destroy the habitats of rare species, including the Yangtze River dolphin, and be vulnerable to earthquakes.