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China's Three Gorges Dam to Displace 300,000 More People

China says nearly 300,000 more people than expected are being relocated to make way for the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam. That brings the number of people to be displaced by the project to nearly 1.4 million.

China's state-owned Xinhua news agency says well over a million people already have been moved, surpassing the number Beijing originally had expected to resettle 1.13 million.

The head of the massive project, Pu Haqing, of the Office of the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee under the State Council told Xinhua the remaining people to be moved will have to leave their homes before the water level in the reservoir reaches its peak of 175 meters.

The Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest hydropower project, stretching across the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei province. It is on track to be completed in 2008.

The government says the dam will help solve China's energy shortage. Environmentalists have suggested the reservoir could become a giant cesspool, as untreated waste from nearby cities or chemicals from factories builds up behind the dam.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.