China to relocate people for world’s largest radio telescope

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Beijing, Feb 16 (IANS) China’s Guizhou province is expected to evacuate over 9,000 residents for the protection of the world’s largest radio telescope before its completion in September, authorities said on Tuesday.

The evacuation is facilitated by a proposal last year by several members of the Guizhou provincial committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Xinhua news agency reported.

The proposal asked the government to relocate residents within 5 km of the 500-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, to create a sound electromagnetic wave environment.

The Guizhou provincial government is expected to resettle 9,110 residents in Pingtang county and Luodian County in four settlements by the end of September.

Each of the involved residents will get 12,000 yuan ($1,830) subsidy from the provincial reservoir and eco-migration bureau, and each involved ethnic minority household with housing difficulties will get 10,000 yuan subsidy from the provincial ethnic and religious committee.

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Construction of the FAST began in March 2011 with an investment of 1.2 billion yuan.

Upon completion, the telescope will be the world’s largest of its kind, overtaking Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory, which is 300 metres in diameter.

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