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Motuo Highway 10 Years On: Maintenance as important as construction
update:November 06,2023
By:CGTN
Nov. 6, 2023 -- Tuesday marks the tenth anniversary since the completion of a road connecting Bomi county to Motuo, in the southeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau, marking the end of its isolation from the world. To celebrate this milestone, CGTN is screening a three-part series on the transformations witnessed in Motuo over the past decade. In the final episode, our reporter Guo Tianqi witnesses some of the difficulties faced by a road maintenance team. 
 
"The Hidden lotus" is another name for Metuo. It was also the final county in China to be connected to the rest of the country by paved road. Since 2013, people here have longer had to walk for up to a week to reach the outside world. Now they use motor vehicles instead. 
 
Ten years later, we are following a road maintenance team, to see how they deal with a huge landslide. 
 
ZHAXI PINGCUO Associate captain, Road maintenance team "Falling stones are very common, especially when there's rain, blocking the vehicles from both sides. We need to come here every day from May to September."
 
GUO TIANQI Motuo, Xizang Autonomous Region "Motuo or Medog, is known as the museum of geological disasters, so even after the road was completed, there can be 5 to 6 times of mudslide or landslide in just one kilometer's road during the rainy seasons, so the patrol and maintenance of the road, is crucial to keep it clear."
 
The annual rainfall here exceeds 2,000 millimeters. And rocks and soils can be unstable. So apart from these concrete retaining walls, tunnels are also designed into the roads to protect vehicles. 
 
HONG WEI Team member, Road maintenance team "Of course, the work is hard and tiring, but as local people, it is our responsibility to keep the road clear."
 
As the lifeline connecting Motuo and outside world, the road has also brought business. 
 
On our way back to the town area, the stunning local specialties, stopped us. 
 
"We all get some of the tropical fruits, which we found very interesting in the Tibetan Plateau. And it tastes good."
 
GUGU LAMU Villager, Madi Village "The bananas, lemon and tea are all grown by myself. We can make 40,000 Yuan a year through this street stand."
 
In Motuo, many villages are named after the milestones of the highway, such as 80K and 52K, revealing the importance of the road to the people living in the Yalung Zangbo Grand canyon. And in the future, more roads and bridges are going to make travel even easier for them. 
 
Guo Tianqi, CGTN, Motuo, Xizang Autonomous Region. 


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