News and Views on Tibet

Work on highest rail line in crucial phase

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Beijing, April 12 – Construction of the world’s highest railway line, the Qinghai-Tibet railway has entered a crucial period, the state media reported today.

“Given most of the year’s construction work would be done at an elevation of more than 4,500 meters, cold and inadequate oxygen would pose challenges to the physical health of workers and supply of Logistics,” Vice-Minister for Railways, Sun Yongfu, said.

This year, 194 kilometres of the Qinghai-Tibet railway track will be laid, about 83 kilometres more than that laid in 2002, Sun was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency in Golmud, Qinghai province.

Frozen earth projects across the Tanggula mountain and in Tibet would also begin this year.

As frozen earth was very sensitive to air temperature changes, construction quality was a top priority this year, he said.

Sun has asked relevant departments to take thorough measures to protect the permafrost earth and make sure the project went smoothly.

The Chinese government has allocated a total of 5.6 billion yuan ($ 674.7 million) had been arranged this year, the highest annual investment in this project which is to be completed within six years.

Formally started on Jun 29, 2001, the ambitious project aims to build the country’s first railway linking Tibet and the rest of China.

With a total length of 1,100 kilometres, the railway will link golmud, a traffic hub in Qinghai province, with Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and later will be extended to Shigaze and Linzhi in Tibet, as well as Yunnan province in southwest China, the report said.

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