The sparsely-populated Tibet has no plan for building
expressways, which are both unnecessary and difficult for the
moment, said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Tibet autonomous regional government, on
Most parts of the southwestern autonomous region are sparsely
populated and have little traffic flow to demand expressways, he
told a press briefing on Tibet's social and economic
Yet with the strong support and financial aid from the central
government, the regional government is determined to step up with
construction of "high-class highways" and will turn 80 percent of
all the roads into blacktops by 2010, he said.
By then, highways will be extended into 100 percent of Tibet's
townships and counties and 80 percent of all its administrative
villages, he said.
The central government has earmarked more than 30 billion yuan
on Tibet's road construction for the 2006-2010 period, he said.
"In all our road projects, we'll ensure the environment is
properly protected," said Puncog. "We'll protect the environment in
the same way as we protect our own eyes."
Construction of a highway on Mount Qomolangma, the world's
tallest peak, will be completed before August 2008, in time for the
Beijing Olympic Games, Puncog disclosed.
"We'll ensure completion of the road by all means by next
August," said Qiangba Puncog.
The project aims to turn a 110-km rough road linking Tingri
County of Xigaze Prefecture at the foot of the mountain to the Base
Camp into a blacktop highway fenced by undulating guardrails.
On completion, the highway will become the major route for
tourists and mountaineers who are crowding onto Mount Qomolangma,
known in the west as Mount Everest, in ever larger numbers.
The central government of China has increased investment in
Tibet Autonomous Region along with implementation of a range of
preferential policies in recent years. Nine out of ten yuan spent
by local finance of Tibet has come from the central revenue, said
The funds used in Tibet's infrastructure construction and for its
fiscal expenditure over the last 50 years have mainly allocated by
the central government, said the chairman. The central government
will invest 77.8 billion yuan (US$10.23 billion) in 180 projects in
Tibet between 2006 and 2010.
(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2007)