(TibetanReview.net, Mar 20, 2009) — China is to begin building later this year a railway to link the Gannan (Tibetan: Kanlho) Prefecture in Gansu province to its capital Lanzhou, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Mr 18. It said the 174.2-km railway will cost 8.75 billion yuan (about US $1.3 billion) to build and will be completed in three years. The exact route of the railway will be decided before this May.
“We have no railways, flights and water carriages,” Mao Shengwu, head of the prefecture, was quoted as saying, referring to the lack of transport infrastructure hampering development. The aim of the new railway was reported to be to boost the local economy where stockbreeding is the main industry.
The prefecture’s main cultural centre and tourist attraction is the 300-year-old Labrang Monastery.
The report said the prefecture’s population was 680,000, with 54 percent being Tibetan.
Several Tibetan counties in the prefecture were hit by major protests during last year’s Tibet uprising.