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Tibetans'Living Standard Improved Remarkably (05/15/01)

Tibetan people's living standard has improved remarkably, with 85% of farmers and herdsmen living in new homes and all urban residents having an average room of 20 square meters to live in, according to a May 15 Xinhua report.


Last year, the per capita net income of urban Tibet residents reached  6,448 yuan (US$ 776.86), up 7.5% from the previous  year. That of farmers rose 5.8% to 1,331 yuan.


Taking taxi is no longer luxury for residents in Lhasa, the region's  capital city. With 140,000 permanent residents, the city has 1,100  Santana taxi cabs.


Tibet now has a total length of highway of 24,000 kilometers. There were no highways at all before Tibet was peacefully liberated in 1951. Now highways lead to every county. This,  plus faster urbanization process, has paved the way for cars to enter  ordinary urban Tibetan families.


In the past four years, the number of individuals buying motor vehicles  increased by 10% annually. Private motor vehicles  reached 10,385. Having a private car is becoming a vogue for young  Tibetans. In sharp contrast, Tibet had only one car owned by the 14th Dalai Lama 50 years ago.


Cafes, bars, Internet bars, and disco halls can be seen in cities and towns. They are the favorite places for  the young. With optical cable lines laid to remote villages,  televisions, telephones and Internet have come into ordinary Tibetans families  in rural and pastoral areas.


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