Shanghai, the top metropolis in China and a key draw for tourists with its brilliant night skyline, said on Thursday that it would turn off all decorative street lamps during the seven-day Spring Festival to ease the burden on the electricity grid.
This was the first time for such a move, the Shanghai City Appearance and Environment Sanitation Administrative Bureau said. Due to the power shortages caused by severe winter weather, the festive lights went off on Jan. 31 and would stay off for the full holiday period, which ends on Feb. 12, it said.
In the first four days of 'lights out,' about 240,000 kilowatts of electricity were saved.
By late Wednesday, China had managed to resume full or partial power service in 164 of the 169 counties and cities that were blacked out by severe weather. That included parts of Chenzhou, a hard-hit city in the central province of Hunan, where 4 million residents were without power and tap water for 11 days.
(Xinhua News Agency February 8, 2008)