Tibet To Spend More On Road Construction By 2005
[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 2004/04/14; April 14, 2004.]
Xinhua [Xinhua is the official news agency of the PRC]
Tibet Autonomous Region in western China had more than 41,302 kilometers of highways open to traffic at the end of 2003, with 3.29 km for every 100 square kilometer of its territory on average, according to the regional administration of highways.
Increasing government input accounted for the mileage. In the rural areas alone, the spending on highway construction amounted to more than 530 million yuan (63.86 million US dollars) last year, bringing highways in the region's rural areas to a total of 28,914km, covering over 70 percent of such areas.
Before the year 1949 when the People's Republic of China was founded, there was only one primitive road of one kilometer long in Tibet, which was used exclusively for vehicles of the Dalai Lhama.
Massive road construction started on the Tibetan Plateau in the early 1950s. On December 25, 1954, the Sichuan-Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet highways were open to traffic, putting an end to the absence of standard highways in the region.
After five decades of effort, Tibet now has state highways from Lhasa to Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and Xinjiang autonomous region as well as to Nepal, and another 14 provincial-level highways.
According to the regional transport authority, Tibet is forecast to invest 14 billion yuan (1.67 billion US dollars) in highways for the 2001-2005 period.
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