Remote no longer, roads link county to country

By DAQIONG and PALDEN NYIMA in Lhasa | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-04 09:36
Share - WeChat
A park in the county town of Metog, Tibet. [Photo/China Daily]

Before 2013, its agriculture was largely slash-and-burn, and development was slow.

The government's efforts to build a road to Metog started as early as the 1960s but were hindered by the county's complicated topography and frequent natural disasters. Geographical surveys and other preparations took a few decades to complete.

After years of trials, surveys and planning, construction on the road started officially in 2009 and was completed in October 2013, when the 117-kilometer-long Metog Highway opened to traffic.

The last roadless county in the country ended its isolation with the opening of the highway.

"Before the road, eight to 10 villagers took up to a day taking turns carrying a patient on their backs to the county town, which is only 25 km away," Nyima said, adding that today, the journey takes less than an hour.

"In the past, we had to trek for a week to Nyingchi. On the way, we had to sleep in simple sheds made of palm tree leaves, and we'd always get bitten by leeches," he said. "Between the ages of 15 and 35, I made this journey barefoot many times."

Metog Tsomo, a civil servant with the county government, said the county's five townships and 45 villages are now all accessible by road, and there are four passenger lines operating between the townships and 20 of the villages.

"So far, the county road network extends for 529 km, including more than 137 km of county roads, 160 km of township roads and about 230 km of village roads," the civil servant said.

By shuttle bus, it takes about six hours and just 180 yuan ($26.85) to travel between Metog and Nyingchi city, a 400 km trip.

"Thanks to road access, young people can work in cities, and bamboo wickerwork and other local specialties can be transported from the mountains and sold," Nyima said.

The per capita disposable income of farmers and herders in Metog county now exceeds 15,000 yuan, and the per capita disposable income of urban residents reached 41,000 yuan last year.

"Now, parents no longer have to accompany their kids to school in Nyingchi," he said.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349