New asphalt roads linking regions of Tibet

The Lhasa Southern Ring Road is one of the new roads completed in the Tibet Autonomous Region last year. (Photo by PALDEN NYIMA/CHINA DAILY)

Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region will invest 21.6 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) in its transportation and traffic sector this year, according to the Department of Traffic and Traffic. transport in the region.

The money will be used to resurface more than 600 kilometers of national and provincial highways and more than 1,700 kilometers of rural roads.

Last year, the region allocated more than 36 billion yuan for transportation, carried out 20 billion yuan of capital investment in highways and expanded the region’s road network to more than 120,000 km.

Thanks to heavy investment, five townships and 67 villages were connected by paved roads last year. As a result, 94% of Tibet‘s townships and 77% of its villages are now connected by such roads.

Last year, the Lhasa-Nagchu highway, the highest in the world, was opened to traffic.

“Except for Ngari Prefecture, all other cities in the region are now connected to highways,” said Xu Wenqiang, head of the department. “Through the highway construction projects, 33,200 farmers and herders had employment opportunities for migrants during the year and received about 210 million yuan in wages.”

Xu said that this year, Tibet will continue to work on improving its transportation network. “We will work hard to improve traffic conditions in rural areas and comprehensively extend the benefits of living in an affluent society to rural residents.”

Tsering Tsodan, a village official in Driru County, said residents live on steep hills where roads are narrow and often blocked by mud and rain in summer, and snow and ice in winter.

“An 8 km road project was funded by the government after we proposed it in 2020. The project is expected to start this year,” she said. “Once the road is operational, travel between our township and the village will be greatly improved.”