China’s Three Gorges dam will be open to visitors this summer, state media said yesterday.

Tickets will be on sale from July 1, and up to 1000 people per day will be allowed to tour the dam on the Yangtze river at a cost of US$8 each, reports

So far access to the dam has been limited, despite cruise ships routinely passing through the Three Gorges as they travel down the Yangtze. The dam has been blocked by engineers since June 2003 in order to fill its reservoir.

The Three Gorges, set to be the world’s largest dam project upon its completion in 2009, has been criticised by environmental groups for its impact on the ecosystem and its need to relocate hundreds of thousands of people.

However, the estimated US$25B project, which began in 1993, could generate 17,000GW and is seen as a point of national pride for energy-hungry China.

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