(TibetanReview.net, Feb 10) – China is drilling a 3.3-km tunnel through the Galung La mountain in Nyingchi Prefecture, which has an average altitude of about 5,000 metres, as a crucial part of building a highway to connect Medog county with Zhamog (Tibetan: Tramo) Town in the same Prefecture, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Feb 8. “The construction on the tunnel is a very important phase of the project,” Yao Bohua, head of the highway planning and design institute under the region’s communication department, was quoted as saying. “When it is completed, the progress for the rest of the project will be smoothed.”
The 950 million yuan (US $138.6 million), 117-km project is entirely funded by the Chinese central government, the report said. The county has a sparse population of just about 10,000 Tibetans but is the only country in the PRC not connected by a highway and is strategically located near India’s border.
Nestled among snow-capped mountains, there are currently only mountain paths connecting villages and towns in this county. Tramo is the county seat of Bome and Medog.