"We look forward to implementing the ‘13th Five-Year Plan’ and hope that the Sichuan-Tibet Railway will open as soon as possible. This holds great practical significance for the development of western Tibet, Tibet’s development as a whole and consolidation of the border," said Losang Gyaltsen,Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) deputy party secretary and TAR chairman,at the Tibet Open Day during the 12th National People’s Congress, March 7.
In the draft for the 13th Five-Year Plan the Sichuan-Tibet Railway was included in the transport infrastructure priority projects. It starts in Chengdu and ends in Lhasa, weaving in between valleys at an average altitude of 2,000 meters and climbing over 14,000 meters. It is like a “giant roller coaster” built with the world’s most advanced technology, in the most dangerous and most complex mountain valleys.
"Construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has played a huge role in development of Tibet’s economy and consolidation of the border. This year is the first year of the 13th Five- Year Plan and Tibet still requires leapfrog development to achieve moderate prosperity in line with the rest of the country. During regional linkage, especially the ‘one belt, one road’ development strategy, the role that the Sichuan-Tibet Railway plays is irreplaceable.”
During an interview on Mar. 8 Hong Wei, vice chairman of the NPC and TAR Tourism Development Committee, said that, currently the tourism industry is the leading industry in Tibet and accounts for 27.5% of GDP, so the role that the railway plays for the tourism industry is self-evident. Meanwhile, construction of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway will also have a positive effect in strengthening national defense in southern Tibet.
Kelsang Draga, NPC delegate and TAR Lhasa Chengguan District Nachen Thamar village first secretary said, “I’m really looking forward to the opening of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway. My son is studying in inland China and when he returns home every year plane tickets are expensive and difficult to buy. Many children choose to study and work in Tibet over a better education in inland schools. I believe that the opening of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway will lead to further exchange and cooperation between Tibet and the inland counterparts in a number of fields.
“The Sichuan-Tibet Railway passes through some complex terrain where geological disasters occur frequently. In the early stages of construction, exploration and planning are very important. We must uphold the concept of green development, strictly adhere to the minimum requirements of the ecological environment and build the Sichuan-Tibet Railway at the lowest possible cost to the environment. Phuntsok, NPC delegate and regional director of TAR People’s Congress Ngari Working Committee, stressed that during this process inspection groups must increase legal supervision and prevent corruption in order to build a clean road.