Sichuan-Tibet Railway Construction | UPSC

Sichuan-Tibet Railway Construction | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

China begins work on rail line up to Arunachal border

      WHY IN NEWS:

It will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi in Tibet

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

China has begun work on a strategically significant railway line — its second major rail link to Tibet

SICHUAN-TIBET RAILWAYS

Sichuan-Tibet Railway Construction | UPSC

SOURCES : THE HINDU

OVERVIEW

  • The Chinese Government announced the railway link in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

China’s second Tibetan railway after Qinghai-Lhasa Railway, Sichuan-Tibet Railway envisions to connect Tibet’s capital Lhasa to China’s logistics hub Chengdu.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • The project will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi, which lies near the border with India’s Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The importance of the project, Chinese experts said, is two-fold.

Like the Qinghai-Tibet railway line, which in 2006 connected Lhasa to the hinterland, this will be the second such route linking the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to the hinterland.

  • Secondly, it will run right up to Nyingchi near the border with India, which it will link to both Lhasa and Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan.
  • The entire line will run from Chengdu to Lhasa, connecting the two capitals of TAR and Sichuan and cutting the journey from 48 hours to 13 hours.

STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE FOR CHINA

  • The Sichuan-Tibet Railway’s construction has not only created a large number of jobs along the route, but is also helping revitalize the local countryside.
  • It will also boost the social transformation and modernization of Tibet.-(CHINADAILY.COM.CN)
  • And by improving the transport network in eastern and southeastern Tibet, it will create a sound business environment for Tibet.
  • This will help the locals to attract foreign enterprises, capital and talents to participate in its development.
  • Sichuan-Tibet Railway will connect the China-India-Bangladesh-Myanmar economic corridor to the Yangtze River.

Morever, Shaanxi-Gansu-Qinghai-Tibet economic belts, and thus extend the Silk Road Economic Belt.

  • It will also accelerate cultural and personnel exchanges between Tibet and the rest of country, narrowing their geographical and psychological distance.

THREE SECTS OF SICHUAN TIBET RAILWAY

Sichuan Tibet Railway Station is divided into three parts –

  1. Chengdu Kangding Railway
  2. Kangding Nyingchi Railway
  3. Lhasa Nyingchi Railway.

The construction began from the two ends of the railway.

CHENGDU KANGDING RAILWAY

Chengdu Kangding Railway connects Chengdu and Kangding, passing through Ya’an.

  • It began to build in 2014 and is predicted to be finished in 2018.
  • This section stretches to 325km and the highest speed of the train running on Chengdu Kangding Railway reaches 200km/h.

KANGDING NYINGCHI RAILWAY

  • Kangding Nyingchi Railway is the longest, toughest and most beautiful part among the three railways.
  • Stating from 2018, it is expected to be completed in 2030.

Kangding Nyingchi Railway stretches to about 1200km, with many tunnels and bridges.

  • This railway will show you the quite enchanting natural views.

Sichuan-Tibet Railway Construction | UPSC

LHASA NYINGCHI RAILWAY

Lhasa Nyingchi Railway is the shared section of Sichuan Tibet Railway, Sichuan Tibet Railway and Gansu Tibet Railway.

  • The construction of Lhasa Nyingchi Railway began in the end of 2014.
  • It is 135km long and expected to be finished in 2020.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

  • The 435-km section from Nyingchi-Lhasa segment has been under construction since 2015, and will be finished by the end of next year.

State media reported as much as 75% of this section consists of 120 bridges and 47 tunnels, with a designated speed of 160 km/h.

  • This includes a 525 metre-long bridge across the Yarlung Zangbo river, as the Brahmaputra is called in Tibet.
  • The official Xinhua news agency said this makes it the world’s highest concrete-filled steel tube arch railway bridge.

Sichuan-Tibet Railway Construction | UPSC

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

FAST TRACK

  • State media – The railway will help “transport advanced equipment and technologies from the rest of China to Tibet and bring local products out”.

“If a scenario of a crisis happens at the border, the railway can act as a ‘fast track’ for the delivery of strategic materials,”.

  • Global Times– The railway “is also of great significance in safeguarding national unity and consolidating border stability”.
  • The railway will largely improve convenience of military personnel and material transportation and logical supplies.
  • The first segment of the line within Sichuan province, from Chengdu to Yaan, was completed in December 2018.
  • Work on the 1,011-km section from Yaan to Nyingchi, which was formally launched this week, will be finished in 2030.

Due to the complex geological and climatic conditions and fragile ecological environment along the railway line , the project invites environmental hazards.

     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Sichuan-Tibet Railway Construction | UPSC

 

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