A group of 556 migrants from the Three Gorges Project site arrived
in Shanghai Sunday as the last batch of farmers who were relocated
to the city to make way for the giant hydroelectric dam.
Their arrival will bring the total number of local Three Gorges
emigrants to 7,519 since the first group arrived in 2000, according
to the Shanghai Three Gorges Emigrant Resettlement Office.
This latest group of 159 families from Chongqing Municipality
arrived at the city's Baoyang Wharf at 6:20am Sunday after a
five-day voyage along the Yangtze River.
The migrants, aged four months old to 86 years old, will be
resettled in the city's suburban Nanhui and Fengxian districts,
"We are very thankful to your contribution made to the Three Gorges
Project and you are guaranteed to have a new good life in
Shanghai," said Mayor Han Zheng who welcomed the migrants at the
wharf Sunday morning.
The 90 billion yuan (US$10.8 billion) hydroelectric facility is the
world's biggest infrastructure project. Construction on the dam
started in 1999.
These people are among 1.2 million farmers and rural residents who
have been or will be relocated from the Three Gorges since 2000 to
11 provinces along the Yangtze River and the east China coast
regions, due to the project.
compensation for the resettlement, each family moving to the city
will be given a new home - ranging in area from 120 to 180 square
meters depending on the number of members, as well as a small patch
of farmland for each person.
Local residence permits will also be granted to migrant families
and children will get free schooling for two years, according to
the migrant resettlement office.
Officials also said that about two-thirds of migrant families who
arrived earlier have lived up to local living standards.
"I'm very glad to regard Shanghai as my second hometown," said Xu
Jibo, 43, whose family is among the first batch of migrants to
settle in the city's Chongming County. "Despite the relatively high
living standards here, I'm still quite optimistic that I can
overcome difficulties to build up a new family."
(Shanghai Daily August 16, 2004)