April 16, 2005
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

China Strives to Complete Gormo-Lhasa railroad by October

new residence area of the N’eu township, that will host around 50 families, according to reports from the area. The slogan painted on the walls in Chinese characters reads: ‘Residential homes for the relocated masses at Liuwu New Section in Lhasa City'(ICT Photo)

Dharamshala 16 April 2005: A new series of photographs posted on www.savetibet.org the website of the International Campaign for Tibet showed the extent of construction and development in Lhasa for the new Gormo-Lhasa railroad.

According to the International Campaign for Tibet, images show official notices announcing the relocation of local residents in the area of N’eu (Chinese: Liuwu) township in Toelung Dechen county near Lhasa (Chinese: Duilongdeqing) where the railway station is to be built, and new housing that has been built in the area.

The ICT website says that China is planning to invest an additional 5.5 billion yuan ($0.6 bn), to ensure construction of the railway by October. This, the website says, shows how important the project is for the China. The construction of the 1,118 km railway from Gormo (Chinese:Golmud) in Amdo (Chinese: Qinghai) to Lhasa in the TAR is an important part of Beijing’s campaign to develop the western regions of China, including the TAR and Tibetan areas in Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu provinces.

The ICT says that “the rail link and stations in Tibetan areas will facilitate increased exploitation of Tibet’s mineral and natural resources and will generate both large and small-scale opportunities for employment and enterprise.” The construction of the railway, according to the ICT, is intended to accelerate the integration of Tibetan areas into the national economy.

new railway bridge being constructed across the Kyichu river for the railroad, which will run from Golmud in Qinghai to Lhasa in the TAR. The bridge links the N’eu township to central Lhasa on the opposite bank of the river. An official Chinese press report on 14 April (2005) in Chinanews stating that work on this bridge has ‘progressed smoothly’ (ICT Photo)

“The new images provide the first confirmation that local residents in the N’eu area, on the south bank of the Kyichu river and opposite the western area of Lhasa, will be resettled in order to make way for the new development. Land prices in the Ne’u area have been on the increase over the past few years. The resettlement is unlikely to have been voluntary, in accordance with other reports from Tibetan areas of relocations linked to urban or infrastructural development projects.”

It is further said that the construction of the Ne’u township terminal is likely to entail significant reclamation of land from the river’s seasonal flood plain. The Chinese press has announced recently that the design for the train station at N’eu has now been confirmed as ‘a combination of large-scale architecture and Tibetan traditional architecture’.

The railway will approach Lhasa from the northwest, first descending from the Amdo grasslands to Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) and Damshung (Ch: Dangxiong), then following the Toelung River from Yangpachen through Toelung Dechen county and into west Lhasa. The latest Chinese press reports indicate that there will be trial operation of the railway in July 2006.

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