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More than Scheduled People to Be Relocated for Three Gorges Project

The number of people relocated to make way for the massive Three Gorges Project in China has surpassed the planned 1.13 million and is expected to top 1.4 million, an official said on Sunday.

Currently, more than 1.2 million people, or over 85 percent of the updated plan, have been resettled, said Pu Haiqing, head of the Office of the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee under the State Council.

The rest will be relocated before the water level in the reservoir reaches 175 meters when the world's largest hydro-power project is completed in 2008, one year earlier than scheduled, Pu said.

The government, seeking harmonious interaction between economic development and natural resources, decided to increase the number in consideration of the bearing capacity of local ecology, the official said.

Launched in 1993 and being built with an estimated cost of 180 billion yuan (about US$22.5 billion), the Three Gorges Project on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest, will be installed with 26 generators with the combined generating capacity amounting to 18.2 million kw and be able to generate 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually.

(Xinhua News Agency October 3, 2006)

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