(TibetanReview.net, Mar15, 2015) – China appears to be planning to link western Tibet’s Ngari Prefecture by railway both from neighbouring Xinjiang (East Turkestan) and Tibet’s Shigatse prefecture and to start building the Sichuan-Tibet railway in 2016.
An indication of the Ngari plan came from a report by China’s online Tibet news service eng.tibet.cn which said Mar 14 that a proposal for this was presented during the ongoing national “two sessions” in early March by Losang Sherdun, a CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) member from Ngari.
The report said that in his proposal Losang, a member of the national committee of the CPPCC and Vice Chairman of the regional CPPCC of Ngari Prefecture, had called for the further extension of the Southern Xinjiang Railway and Lhasa-Shigatse Railway to Ngari.
The Lhasa-Shigatse Railway line opened in Aug 2014 and work is already in progress to extend this line to Nyingtri Prefecture in southeastern Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
Also, China’s official chinadaily.com.cn reported Mar 14 that the Sichuan delegation at the annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, had called for the incorporation of the construction of the Sichuan-Tibet railway in the country’s next five-year plan, which will commence in 2016.
The planned 1,800-kilometer line will connect Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, with Lhasa, capital of Tibet, and construction will cost 200 billion yuan ($32 billion), the report said.
The report noted that last year, the Chinese government approved the construction of sections linking Lhasa to Nyingchi in eastern TAR, and Chengdu to Ya’an in western Sichuan.