China to restrict Lhasa population after Larung Gar

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, August 9: China has decided to restrict the population of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital to below 500,000 by 2020.

After Larung Gar, the Chinese Communist Party has now decided to limit the population of Lhasa to below 50,000 by 2020, China’s State Council announced on Tuesday according to a report by Chinese state run media, Global Times.

Image for representation purpose only.
Image for representation purpose only.

Apart from restricting the population of permanent residents in the Tibetan capital to 500,000 by 2020, china has also announced that the urban land should not surpass 78 square kilometers.

According to Lhasa’s overall urban plan from 2009 to 2020, “by 2020, the permanent resident population should not exceed 500,000 in city centers and urban land should not surpass 78 square kilometers,” the State Council’s website announced on Tuesday.

Though the plan did not disclose the proportion of the Han and Tibetan ethnic group on the population limit set, the National Bureau of Statistics website states that in 2010, Lhasa had a permanent resident population of 559,423, of which 91.83 percent were Tibetans.

The plan forbids the development of new areas and districts outside the regulated land plan and it further highlights the importance of coordinated urban and rural development, the improvement of the urban infrastructure system, the establishment of an environmentally-friendly and resource-saving city, and the protection of local historical and cultural sites, the report details.

Last year, Chinese officials cited overcrowding concerns and illegally demolished residences of monks and nuns at Larung Gar, the world’s largest centre of Buddhist learning in Tibet and forcefully drove away the displaced Tibetan monks and nuns.