Three Gorges To-Do List: Mudslides to Jobs
About 9,000 people have been affected and 133 hectares of land destroyed, the official said. Economic losses so far have totaled 500 million yuan. And farmers are among the hardest hit. “More than 2,000 farmers have been deprived of their livelihoods,” the official said.
Against the backdrop of these messy and sometimes tragic events, disputes over the Three Gorges project were voiced by legislators in Beijing for the first time at this year’s spring sessions of the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Delegates from Chongqing Municipality and Hubei Province advanced combined 18 suggestions, proposals and motions at the March sessions. They called for reallocating the shares of water, electricity and income from the Three Gorges Hydropower Complex, the world’s largest water conservancy project. They also urged all parties involved to share responsibility for resettling people displaced by the dam, environmental protection, and controlling geological hazards.
These issues are not new. Indeed, the debates often have been heard outside Beijing throughout a long construction period that officially began in December 1994 — two years after relocation and resettlement of residents in affected areas began – and is expected to end this year.