ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
City's power, telecom cables go underground
HCM City is stashing away all electricity and telecommunication cables under the ground as it tries to make over an image that kilometers of chaotic cables have marred somewhat.
In the five years since 2011 the HCM City Power Corporation has finished burying 358km of medium-voltage and 620km of low-voltage cables along 62 streets.
By year end the proportion of power cables underground will sharply increase to 31 per cent in case of medium voltage and 13 per cent in case of low voltage.
Districts 1 and 3 have managed to place 90 per cent of their medium-voltage grid underground. The figure is 80 per cent for District 5 and 70 per cent for districts 4, 10, and 11.
On another 18 streets electricity and information grids will go underground soon.
"Basically, we have achieved the city's target with regard to underground electricity cable system for 2011-15," Pham Quoc Bao, deputy general director of the corporation, was quoted as saying in Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.
In the next five years another 650km of medium-voltage and 1,150km of low-voltage cables will go underground.
Districts 1 and 3 will have no cables above the surface.
Districts like 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, Phu Nhuan, Binh Thanh, and Tan Binh will have most of their grid underground, while border districts like 2, 7, 8, 9, Thu Duc, and Binh Tan will bury cables wherever there are road works.
To achieve this task, a steering committee has been set up to co-ordinate between electricity, telecom, and other related agencies.
Several years ago electricity and telecom companies agreed to jointly hire contractors for their works to reduce road digging and established working regulations for the purpose.
Yet, administrative procedures remain slow, meaning a lot of difficulties for contractors and construction works take too long.
Road digging also causes public resentment, and the city has decreed that the corporation has to consult with local residents before starting any construction work.
"We would like to seek investment from other sources for underground works, and we have asked local authorities to draft policies for this," Bao said.
The corporation is set to submit to the People's Committee and other related authorities its detailed plans for underground works in 2016-20.
"We will co-operate with traffic and water supply [agencies] to carry out works together," Bao added.
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