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October 19, 2009

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Villagers relocated to make way for reservoir

A RESETTLEMENT project involving 330,000 people living in central China's Hubei and Henan provinces has started to make way for China's south-north water diversion project, according to resettlement authorities in Henan yesterday.

People will be relocated from their homes near the Danjiangkou reservoir, where a sluice will be built to divert water from the Yangtze River to thirsty northern China regions including Beijing, Tianjin, Henan and Hebei.

Sources with the resettlement headquarters in Henan said the provincial government has approved new settlement areas with convenient traffic conditions and good soil quality.

Henan's Xichuan County will see the resettlement of 162,000 people, the largest number in a single county, in 185 new villages.

Resettlement in the province is scheduled to be completed in 2011, according to Henan's authorities.

Each resettled family will be given 0.1 hectare of land per person and an annual subsidy of 600 yuan (US$88) each for 20 years, according to Duan Shiyao, deputy chief of Hubei Provincial Resettlement Bureau.

The resettlement project is the country's second largest following a similar scheme for the Three Gorges Hydro-Power Project, where 1.27 million people were moved.


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