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Vice Premier: life must be improved for people relocated from Three Gorges areas
Latest Updated by 2007-02-12 08:55:00
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Vice Premier: life must be improved for people relocated from Three Gorges areas

Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan has instructed local authorities to improve the living conditions of the people relocated to make way for the gigantic Three Gorges Project.

Zeng called for more attention to the relocation work in the Three Gorges areas, to ensure local residents move out as planned, are able to live a stable life and have the opportunity to gradually get rich.

Local governments should strengthen employment training for relocated people and try to raise their incomes, Zeng said at a work conference held here, in central China's Hubei Province, from Feb. 10 to 11.

Currently, more than 1.2 million people, or over 85 percent of those covered by the original plan, have been relocated, involving an investment of 54.4 billion yuan (6.98 billion U.S. dollars). The rest will be resettled before the water level in the reservoir reaches 175 meters in 2008, one year earlier than scheduled.

Zeng also stressed quality and security issues during the construction of the project.

"Control of geological disasters, relocation of local residents and restoration of transport facilities should be completed punctually to ensure the Three Gorges Reservoir be fully prepared for the higher water levels," Zeng said.

He also said the construction of a reservoir operations management system should be sped up, supervision of construction and funding boosted and local audit work reformed.

The water level in the Three Gorges Reservoir has reached the 156-meter mark.

A total of 76 billion yuan (9.7 billion U.S. dollars) had been invested in the project by the end of 2006, with 14 generating units already in operation.

Launched in 1993 at an estimated cost of 180 billion yuan (about 22.5 billion U.S. dollars), the Three Gorges Project on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest, will eventually have 26 generators with a combined generating capacity of 18.2 million kw and be able to generate 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually.

The other 12 generating units will be installed in 2008.

The Yichang meeting was chaired by Wang Xiaofeng, the new director for the general office of the Committee for Construction of Three Gorges Project under the State Council.

Wang, 63, served as the Communist Party chief in the southern Hainan Province and the provincial congress head until December 2006.

Established in 1993, the committee is the top policy-making institution for the Three Gorges Dam construction project.

Wang's predecessor was Pu Haiqing, 66, who had been on the post since 2002.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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