Weeks after Chinese officials warned of a potential environmental catastrophe, the government has announced that it needs to relocate at least four million more people away from the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir area to protect the dam's "ecology".
The plan will displace all the people living on the bank of the river Yangtze in Chongqing municipality, where the dam runs for 600 km. The state council of China made the announcement while clearing the rural and urban development plan for Chongqing--one of the four provincial-level municipalities in China. The dam has already displaced 1.4 million people since constructions began on it in 1994.
The state council in its report said that the vulnerable environment of the reservoir is getting increasingly threatened by overpopulation and industrialization. Hence, relocation of people from the area has become necessary. The council also said that the environment of the reservoir area has greatly changed due to the dam.
Environmentalists have long criticized the project, saying silt trapped behind the dam is causing erosion, while industries in Chongqing are turning the reservoir into a cesspool of raw sewage and chemicals.
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