Xinhua reported yesterday that 3 to 4 million people will be moved out of the Three Gorges Dam area because of concerns over massive pollution and erosion. From the Telegraph:
The huge project will take between 10-15 years to complete, but was necessary as the area’s “ecological safety” was at risk, according to senior officials.
…The river is silting up due to the reduced flow of water, while the residue of human and industrial waste gathering behind the dam is causing water quality to deteriorate. [Full Text]
According to an AP report on the plan, displaced residents will be relocated to an area an hour’s bus ride from Chongqing.
The announcement comes a couple weeks after state media, perhaps accidentally, came out with a surprisingly blunt assessment of the ecological disaster the dam poses. The New York Times report on the migration plan interprets the revelation of official doubt about the dam as a possible sign of political infighting ahead of the upcoming 17th Party Congress. See also a Time magazine article “China’s Three Gorges Dam Under Fire.”
[Image: Three Gorges Dam satellite view from Google Maps]