China Completes First Tunnel on Qinghai-Tibet Railway
[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/12/26; December 26, 2001.]
The Times of India, December 27, 2001.
BEIJING: In a remarkable engineering feat, China has successfully connected two sections of the first railway tunnel of the strategic Qinghai-Tibet Railway in a period of six months.
The tunnel, which is located 13 km away from Lhasa, capital of Tibet, which has witnessed uprising by Buddhist natives against the communist regime, is part of the 1,118 km-long Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
China plans to complete the world's highets railway project costing $26.2 billion in a span of six years.
Tibet, where a 548-km section of the railway will be constructed, has poor geological conditions and high altitude averaging over 4,000 meters.
So far, 12 railway constructors have been sent home due to the lack of oxygen, Xinhua reported.
The strategic railway line would be the first to link rest of China with Tibet, which can currently only be accessed by air or via tortuous mountain roads, which are costly and time-consuming.
Meanwhile, China's once deficit-plagued railway industry is set to make profit this year, the third year in the row, a separate report said.
China will gradually open cargo business to foreign competitors in the next five years as per the country's WTO commitment.
( PTI )
Copyright 1998-2005, Tibet Environmental Watch (TEW)