Another 300,000 people are to be moved from their homes near Three Gorges dam in China .
Almost 1.3 million people have already been moved from the area.
The Three Gorges project is expected to produce 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year at full capacity. The dam is the biggest in the world.
Initial reports quoted the China Daily as saying that people were being moved to prevent pollution in the reservoir and to protect them against hazards like landslides.
However, a project spokesman says the relocation was "a decision of the Chongqing government, to move residents from high mountain areas with harsh living conditions into better lands."
Officially, the Three Gorges project has cost $US27.2 billion, but the BBC reports the real price could be much higher.
Critics claim it will cause massive environmental destruction. Others say the forced resettlement of villagers has left many without compensation.