Stable power supplied to China's smallest township in Tibet

With a population of only 32 in nine households, Yumai, China's smallest township, now has a stable power supply, local township authority said.

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas near the border with India, Yumai township is some 200 kilometers from the county seat of Lhunze.

On Saturday evening, a new power line was connected to supply stable electricity to the nine households there.

Before the line was built, power was supplied by a 125-kilowatt hydro-generator.

"The power supply during the summer was ok, but it was terrible in the winter. Now, I won't have to use oil lamps any more," said local resident Basang, 50 years old.

Power failures destroyed refrigerators and washing machines in Basang's home. "We simply could not use electric appliances during winter," said Basang Drolga, the daughter.

About 40 percent of the 600 villages in Tibet's border areas are still not covered by the state grid, said Jiang Haoran, general manager of the grid in Shannan city.

"Power lines to Yumai are over 4,500 meters above sea level, which has been extremely challenging," he said.

This year, another 47 households will move to Yumai township.

"Now that we have power, it won't be a problem for us to improve our school, clinic and maybe build some tourist facilities," said Shang Linjia, deputy head of the township government.

By 2020, all border villages will be covered by the state grid.