Building well-off border village in New Era

At dawn, the construction site at Yumai Township, a “New Era” demo village for comfortable living on southwest China’s border, is already bustling.

Dawa, the Party chief for Yumai Township, said the village will include 56 homes, with matching public services including water drainage, power, communications, roads, county government, medical clinic, schools, and more after construction. The program has a total investment of about 110 million yuan (17.2 million US dollars), with 440.98 square mu (72.65 acre) of planned land use, and a total construction area of 17,254.24 sqm. In addition, there will be a central park and six plazas. The project is estimated to complete by October of 2018.

Every year, Yumai Township has 260 days of snow and rain. Due to the extended rainfall period, highland barley is impossible to grow locally and the natural environment is challenging. Before the end of 2017, the twonship is snow-bound almost six months of the year. With snowy and narrow mountain roads, it took more than a dozen hours to cross Mt. Relha, and another eight kilometers to reach car transport. Every year, as it got closer to winter, the locals’ priority was always to store supplies for the season, and residents always had to store an entire Winter’s worth of food and resources.

But things changed by the end of last year. On November 18th, Yumai Township received broadband internet, and Shannan City decided to make Yumai Township a demo village for comfortable living. New roads were built, so Yumai Township, which has always been challenged by its weather, welcomed its first winter without food storage at the end of 2017.

Tibet Autonomous Prefecture’s Department of Farming and Animal Husbandry invested almost 20 million yuan (3.12 million US dollars)to support the construction of demo villages on the border. Yumai Township’s four projects, vegetables cultivating, tea planting, bambooware processing, and yak reform, have all been launched.

Hu Xuemin, the government leader of Yumai Township, said, “In 2017, we were added to the national grid and we no longer worry about power. The regional Commission of Tourism Development also designed two tourism routes for us, when our infrastructure is complete in October and the roads are all done, tourists could come here driving their car.”