LHASA, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Construction of a power transmission project started Monday in Pumaqangtang, China's highest township, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
Chen Jinwei, who is in charge of the project, said total investment was about 25.7 million yuan (3.7 million U.S. dollars), and the project was scheduled to be completed in September.
"The project is long-awaited," said Kelsang Chola, secretary of the township committee of the Communist Party of China.
Some villages in Pumaqangtang are still powered by solar energy, which is unstable. Upon completion of the project, residents in Pumaqangtang will have access to stable electricity transmitted via Tibet's main power grid, according to Chola.
According to an agreement signed by the regional government with the State Grid Corporation of China, a unified power grid will be established in Tibet during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period, and the power network in small cities, towns and villages will be upgraded to improve the rural power supply in the region.
Altitudes above 5,000 meters are considered highly unsuitable for humans and have severe effects on health. Pumaqangtang is 5,373 meters above sea level, with oxygen levels less than 40 percent of that at sea level. The annual average temperature of the town is minus 7 Celsius degrees and average life expectancy is only 49.5 years.