BEIJING, China, 28 December 2016
China, for the first time, has started to transport Tibetan bottled water to its inland areas by cargo trains.
Tibet, often called Asia’s Water Tower, is rich in water resources.
A train-full of bottled water from Tibet left Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, and headed for the city of Ningbo in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Carrying 1,890 tonnes of bottled water in 35 carriages from Tibet, the train will travel 4,500 kilometres and reach its destination in six days.
Tibet produced over 400,000 tonnes of natural drinking water in 2015, but high transport costs made it difficult to reach the inland market.
The new trains will facilitate trade in areas along the railway route and help Tibet shift its resource advantages into economic ones, said Yu Heping, a local official.
Identifying its fresh water resources as a new sustainable economic pillar of growth, Tibet plans to raise its annual production capacity of drinking water to five million tonnes in the next three to five years.
There are also plans to run trains between Lhasa and other cities such as Beijing, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Lanzhou.