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China begins biggest relocation to make way for water scheme

China has launched its biggest relocation programme since the Three Gorges Dam, with 330,000 residents set to be moved to new homes to make way for a water project that will serve thirsty Beijing.

The first group of 499 villagers was moved Wednesday in central China’s Hubei province and a total of 60,000 people are to be relocated by 30 September, the official Xinhua News Agency said today. The rest will be moved by 2014, it said.

The South-North Water Diversion Project will siphon water from the Yangtze River to serve drought-prone north China cities such as Beijing and Tianjin.

Danjiangkou city in Hubei is to eventually be submerged under 170m of water, it said. Residents from the city’s Niuhelin district were the first batch to be moved out.

The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project, forced more than 1.4M people to move, their villages flooded by a 660km long reservoir that the dam created on the middle Yangtze. That project was completed in 2006.

Readers' comments (2)

  • The days were when British engineers finaced, designed, built, and managed all these projects, but now that we are a "third world country" all be it just a part of a Europe with mega cash problems, we can just watch the bigger world get on with it ...

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  • Comparing between China and UK, I don't think China would be able to progress economically, build up its infrastructure and dedvelop if it was tied down by the severe planning restrictions, human rights and environmental constraints. Imagine if the British goverment wants to re-locate a small village because of a strategic project of national interest, there will be outcry everywhere. This is what happened at ~Heathrow.

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