China to invest 3.5b yuan for Tibetan roads

Updated: 2012-09-01 15:46


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XINING - The Chinese government is to spend 3.5 billion yuan ($551 million) before the end of the current five-year plan (2011-2015) to build roads in a remote, poor Tibetan plateau prefecture to boost economic development.

About 3,000 km of new roads will be built by 2015 to link major towns and herdsman communities in Golog Tibetan autonomous prefecture, in Qinghai province, Liu Yingde, head of the prefecture's transportation bureau, told Xinhua on Saturday.

By 2015, one will be able to travel from the prefecture seat to major towns and return in just one day, according to Liu.

Golog covers 76,000 square km on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and has a population of 180,000 -- mostly herders. The topography of the region, with an average elevation of 4,200 meters, is dominated by daunting snow-capped mountains and sprawling meadowland.

Golog is also the poorest among China's 10 Tibetan autonomous prefectures. Average per capita income was only 2,964 yuan last year. The government is hoping that better roads can bring businesses to the region.