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China Invests Heavily in Rural Tibet Power Stations

China has invested about 2.9 billion yuan (US$426 million) over the past eight years in building power stations in rural Tibet, the Tibet Autonomous Region government said on Saturday.

With the central government investment, Tibet constructed 443 power stations in villages and towns during the period.

Wang Qinghua, the regional electric power bureau head, said 1.93 million Tibetan residents, or 69 percent of the region's total population, had access to electricity, representing a 400-percent increase from three decades ago.

Last year, 180,000 residents, previously without electricity or suffering from power shortages, were connected.

Tibet plans to build another 758 hydropower stations in the near future.

The regional government is making efforts to provide power, housing and safe drinking water to farmers and herders.

During the past two years, the regional government spent more than 1.3 billion yuan to help farmers move into brick houses from their previous wood-and-earth residences, and to help nomadic herders settle.

(Xinhua News Agency October 5, 2008)

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