(TibetanReview.net, Mar16’20) – Work is resuming on the 179 projects for this year in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Mar 16. While the vast majority of the workers had left for home in the mainland during the freezing winter months and for China’s Spring Festival and could not return due to the novel coronavirus’s spread, over 10,000 had continued working in the region on about 430 power grid construction projects, the report said.
Workers on China’s enormous number of projects in the TAR, ranging from specialists to the unskilled workforce, are overwhelmingly people from mainland China, with local Tibetans constituting a negligible percentage of the employees in the unskilled sector.
The report said China had invested 187.2 billion yuan, up 18 per cent year-on-year, on its projects in the TAR for this year.
The local Chinese government of TAR has been bringing back the Chinese workers in chartered flights as the normal transport system had been disrupted by the lockdown imposed cross China to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report said that in Tibet capital Lhasa, 32 key projects were in progress with total investment of over 34.7 billion yuan (nearly 5 billion US dollars). It added that the projects involve infrastructure construction, industrial development and other fields.
It also said that in the city of Shigatse, construction had resumed on a number of major projects, including the construction of the Shigatse economic development area and Mt. Qomolangma cultural, tourism and creative industry park.
Another Xinhua report Mar 16 said the reconstruction and expansion project of Lhasa Gongga Airport had been fully resumed on Mar 15. The project is a strategic one as it is meant to accommodate the airport’s use for military purposes as well.