China has ordered about 500 Tibetan village households in Lhundup (Chinese: Lingzhi) County of Lhasa City to move out by Sep’11 as their villages would be submerged under water from a hydroelectric project being built there, reported Radio Free Asia online (RFA, Washington) Dec 9. The project affects up to 4,000 Tibetans in six villages and towns in the county’s Phodo area.
The dam project will be completed in Phodo area of the county and some households have already been displaced, the report said, citing local Tibetan sources. The others had been ordered to move out by Sep’11, before the dam’s water reservoir gets filled up. They were already said to be under orders not to plough their land or harvest any crop.
The report quoted an unnamed local Tibetan source as saying “the Chinese are building bridges and blocking the flow of the river,” while houses had already been built “exclusively for the Chinese soldiers who have arrived to work on the dam.”
While none of the Tibetan households wanted to move out of their ancestral land, the authorities were reported to have also turned down their request to be relocated in the same area. The report said some villagers had already been moved to relatively further off places such as Yulnga, Taglung, Radreng, and Lhasa.
Each household has been offered a compensation of 10,000 yuan (about US$ 1,500) which they can use only to build their new homes. Those moved to Lhasa have no choice but to sell their cattle due to lack of spaces for pasture and stable.
Phodo already had some 1,000 Chinese soldiers stationed there as a security measure. Two thousand more were reported to have arrived there to build the dam.
With three rivers near Phodo—namely, Radreng, Lhachig, and Pachoe—being set to be dammed, other neighbouring areas are also set to be affected.
Also set to be submerged were said to be a famous iron-link suspension bridge and a small nunnery.