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|Friday, March 23, 2001, updated at 08:06(GMT+8)|
Railway to Tibet to Make Minimized Effect on Environment: OfficialChinese experts have passed a report on the environmental influence caused by the first phase of the Qinghai-Tibet railway project, according to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) at a press conference held Thursday.
The Chinese Government will make every effort to minimize any damage that the 1,118-kilometer railway may cause to the local environment, said Mou Guangfeng, an official with SEPA.
The first phase of the railway to Tibet will stretch 138.9 kilometers from Golmud to Wangkun, both in Qinghai Province neighboring Tibet. The construction plan will be drafted by June this year.
The construction site of the railway will be strictly limited so as to protect the rare frigid-zone plants on the world roof terrain while some 80 percent of the Qinghai-Tibet railway will be built at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,120 feet) or higher, Mou said.
The frozen earth will also be protected in the process of construction, he added. Part of the railway, about 600 kilometers, will be built on earth that has been frozen for a long time.
The railway will keep away from the migration routes of wild animals while it runs through China's largest nature reserve in Qinghai Province in the sources of the country's three major rivers, the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers.
People living in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau mainly burn timber and animal manure to cook meals or for other purposes, which is detrimental to the local fragile ecological environment.
The Qinghai-Tibet railway will serve as major passage to transport coal, petroleum and other energy resources into Tibet from northwest China, which will bring about positive effects on the environment there.
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