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Qinghai-Tibet Railway Does Not Pollute Local Water Resources: Survey
Construction of the Qinghai-Tibet railway has not polluted the source of the Yangtze River, which is in the project area.

According to a water quality and environment survey by the Qinghai Provincial Environment Monitoring Center, the water quality at the source of the Yangtze, the longest river in China, has remained unchanged.

The center has regularly monitored and tested water quality in the area since the railway project began in June last year.

The Qinghai-Tibet railway, running for 1,142 km from Golmud in Qinghai Province to Lhasa in the Tibet Autonomous Region, is the longest and most elevated railway built on highlands in the world. It will be the first railway linking Tibet with the rest of China.   

A total of 960 km of the railway will be laid in area with an elevation of more than 4,000 meters.

Workers with the Qinghai Provincial Environment Monitoring Center tested 15 items, including heavy metals, suspended substances and biochemical oxygen consumption in the water in the upper and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and its tributaries.

They also monitored the water quality of the Golmud, Sancha andXueshui, snow water, rivers and found no visible changes.

Lu Chunfang, director of the project's headquarters, said they have worked out administrative measures for protecting the local environment during the construction of the railway, aiming to keep the effects on the local environment to a minimum.

In April, the Qinghai-Tibet railway construction headquarters and construction teams signed an agreement with Qinghai Provincial Environmental Protection Bureau for each of the involved work units to take its due responsibility in protecting the local environment.

The agreement is said to be the first of its kind in the railway construction history of China.

The construction team in charge of building a large bridge at the source of the Yangtze River handles various kinds of garbage carefully. Degradable garbage is buried deep underground and that which is not degradable is disposed of at Golmud more than 400 km away. Effective measures have been taken to prevent soil erosion and polluting water sources during construction.

Use of phosphorus-free scouring is encouraged both in the residential camps and at the construction site. The waste water is disposed of timely and then used for watering trees and grass.

(Xinhua News Agency September 29, 2002)

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