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09:34 Dec 01 2009

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Tibet's urbanization rate to reach 43% by 2020
09:30, December 01, 2009  

The permanent population of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region will reach 3.4 million over the next 11 years, with 1.46 million living in urban areas, according to Tibet's Construction Department.

Meanwhile, the region's urbanization rate is expected to rise to 43 percent from 22.61 percent.

According to the department, the Urban System Plan for Tibet Autonomous Region (2008-2020), drafted by the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, has been examined by the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government. Public opinions are now being solicited for the plan.

Tibet covers an area of 1.2 million sq km and had a population of 2.81 million at the end of 2006.

"By 2020, Tibetans will lead a life as well off as people in other parts of the country. But now, as 70 to 80 percent of the Tibetans are farmers and herdsmen, it is hard to achieve the target by relying only on the primary industry," said Lu Fangying, deputy director of the department.

"Therefore, it is essential to accelerate the region's urbanization and bring about the role urban areas can play in economic development, thus stepping up the growth of the secondary and tertiary industries, the tertiary industry in particular," he added.

According to the plan, Tibet will redouble its efforts to improve public service facilities and urban functions to build its cities and towns into modern ones featuring economic prosperity, harmonious society, fine ecology, profound culture, history and rich ethnic characteristics.

In drawing up the urban plan, the characteristics of Tibet's urban areas and realities were taken into consideration.

It is not pragmatic to build roads, supply water and telephone systems in every village as some have only a few households, said Lu.

He added that the optimum way to see fast economic development and the increase in rural people's income is to accelerate construction of urban areas, optimize resources, and enhance infrastructure and public services in the areas.

Source: Xinhua

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