Xinhua News Agency-Sichuan Brought Light and Prosperity to Tibetan Area after 3 Years“ Hard work

Suolang Daji always has a dream: the kids can do their school homework in the electric light and the elderly can use the electric blanket on the cold nights. Now he has realized his dream. SGCC's grid has reached Zangdong Village in Rejia Township of Baiyu County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, where Suolang Daji lives.

The Tibetan region in Ganzi of Sichuan is the plateau mountain region whose area is equivalent to that of Shandong Province. The region has backward infrastructure. Before the 12th Five-year Plan period, 70% of the region in the Prefecture was in short supply of power. Many farmers and herdsmen were still using oil lamps for the night and burning cow manures for heating. 

Without power, it would be impossible for local people to get out of poverty. As a result, to improve livelihood in Tibetan regions, power problem had to be solved first. Over the past 3 years, Sichuan has been working hard on this problem. It invested more than RMB30 billion in the unprecedented "power campaign" on Ganzi Plateau. In the past 3 years, Sichuan built 59 power transmission and transformation projects above 110KV, erected over 40,000km power lines with different voltages, thus completely putting an end to the long history of short or even zero power supply on the Plateau, and laying a solid foundation for people in Tibetan regions to get rid of poverty and live a moderately prosperous life.

On March 20, 2012, Xinduqiao-Ganzi-Shiqu interconnection project was commenced, laying the foundation for power to reach 8 counties in the north of Ganzi. After that, SGCC Sichuan Electric Power Company implemented the Sichuan-Tibet Interconnection Project, "Heavenly Road of Electricity" and power construction project in regions without access to electricity. Almost all these projects were built in the arctic-alpine and oxygen-thin environment where the sea level is over 3,000 meters. Many locations had inconvenient transport not accessible by roads, thus human or horse labor was needed. Some lines ran across vast depopulated land. Even in the power grid construction history in the whole world, the difficulty of these projects was very rare.

Over the past few years, tens of thousands of power workers have worked hard and persistently to complete these tough projects. By the end of this year, Ganzi will realize the full coverage of power in the entire Prefecture. People in the Tibetan regions are closer to brightness and warmth.

After the power is available, the 9-year-old Tibetan girl Dingzhen Qucuo in Xiawa Township of Litang County is not afraid of winter anymore because her home is now using the electric heater. Even if the night temperature drops to less than minus 10 degrees centigrade, the sleep will not be as uncomfortable as lying on the ice.

Relying on the stable power supply, Sichuan Province has been working painstakingly in recent years to engage in 6 major livelihood programs, including the program of rejuvenating the education in Tibetan regions, and the program of upgrading the medical care and hygiene, etc. Last year, the impoverished population in Tibetan regions in Sichuan was reduced by 47,000 people. The per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen rose by 16.4%, higher than the average level in Sichuan Province.

Erection of power lines has not only improved livelihood, but also facilitated the resource advantages in Tibetan regions in Ganzi to transform to economic advantages. Economic plans and ideas in various regions are gradually becoming realities.

"We have always wanted to introduce the agricultural processing companies to promote agriculture and livestock. However, these companies were often scared away after knowing we didn't have power", said Party Secretary He Kanglin of Ganzi Country to the journalist. After the power is available, the obstacle against industrial development has been eliminated. This year, Ganzi County only spent half a year accomplishing the  investment target for the whole year.

Ganzi Prefecture, which lies on the southeast edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, abounds in rich hydropower resources. The Jinsha River, Yalong River, Dadu River and many branch rivers flowing in the territory of Ganzi have the 42GW reserve of hydropower. However, because of the backward power grid, lack of external transmission channels, and low level of hydropower development, local people had short supply of power. As the modern power grid is completed, hydropower development in Ganzi Prefecture will also step onto the fast track, thus generating considerable benefits for local economy.

Source: Xinhua News Agency