Three Gorges Dam Causing Problems in China

May 19, 2011, 09:36 by R.E. Christian

China's Three Gorges, the world's largest dam built to tame the Yangtze River, faces environmental and other problems needing speedy resolution, leaders warned.

The warning was contained in a statement issued by the Chinese Cabinet.

The admission appeared to be the first such about the dam in central China that might have cost as much as $40 billion since construction began in 1994 and completed in 2006, the BBC reported.

After lauding the project's benefits such as helping stem flooding, improve navigation and produce electricity, the Cabinet said there were urgent problems that need to be addressed, such as "stabilizing and improving living conditions for relocated people, protecting the environment, and preventing geological disasters."

The BBC said more than 1 million people were relocated by the construction of the dam that affected 13 cities, 140 towns and 1,350 villages.

The statement said the people need more jobs, better transport facilities and improved social security benefits.

One issue with the dam concerns fluctuations in the water level of the reservoir stretching about 360 miles, causing frequent landslides, the BBC report said.

There have been a number of complaints about problems relating to the project from the start from local leaders and groups.

Source: UPI