A top official from southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region
said the environment along the landmark Qinghai-Tibet Railway has
been effectively protected since its opening last July.
Measures have been taken to preserve the ecological environment
along the 1,956-km route, the first ever railway to link Tibet with
the rest of the country, said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the
"The Qinghai-Tibet Railway has been praised by people in Tibet
as the 'economy line', 'unity line', 'happy line' and 'eco-line',"
he said in a document available before Wednesday's press briefing
on Tibet's social and economic development.
According to a recent poll conducted by the State Environmental
Protection Administration (SEPA), 96.9 percent of the Tibetan
residents surveyed said they were satisfied with environmental
protection along the Qinghai-Tibet railway.
A field investigation along the route found no evidence of
damage to the local environment. The landscape, lakes and the
frozen earth have been well preserved and wildlife migration
patterns have not changed, according to a panel of officials and
experts from the SEPA and the Ministry of Railways, as well as
Tibet and Qinghai Province.
"The railway has greatly promoted the tourism industry in Tibet,
along with social progress," said Puncog.
Tibet will receive 6 million tourists and notch up at least 6
billion yuan (770 million U.S. dollars) of tourism income in 2010,
at least 12 percent of the region's gross domestic product, the
regional government has said.
The railway has brought an influx of tourists, which totaled
more than 2.5 million last year, including 154,800 from overseas.
They spent 2.77 billion yuan in the region.
This year Tibet expects to host 3 million tourists and bring in
3.4 billion yuan of tourism revenue, said Jin Shixun, director of
the development and reform commission of the Tibet autonomous
In the first five months alone, Tibet received a record 672,000
tourists, up 82 percent from the same period of last year.
(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2007)