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    DPDC blames DSCC for delay in underground cable project

    January 17, 2022 - Dhaka Tribune


      The Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) has failed to start physical work on moving overhead cables underground in the Dhanmondi area despite significant effort, with the utility officials blaming it on the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).

      "We were fully prepared to start the job last September as planned, but we did not receive permission from DSCC to dig the streets to lay our cables and install other equipment," said a top official of the DPDC.

      On the other hand, the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has been very cooperative in the movement of overhead cables underground.

      "That's why we have been able to implement another similar project from the city's Jahangir Gate in Cantonment to Bangabhaban, the presidential palace," the DPDC official added, mentioning that cables had already been laid from Jahangir Gate to the Farmgate area.

      According to official sources, the DPDC had undertaken a Tk20,500 crore project, funded by China, to move overhead electricity lines underground as part of a mega plan to ensure uninterrupted, safe, and secure electricity supply to the capital.

      "Making the view beautiful by removing the ugly and hazardous cables is another main objective of the project," said Bikash Dewan, managing director of the DPDC.

      He said overhead cables from Jahangir Gate to Bangabhaban via Karwan Bazar-Kakrail-Fakirapool-Dainik Bangla crossing will disappear once the project is completed.

      He appreciated the DNCC for their cooperation in implementing the project. Other utilities, such as internet and TV cable operators, have shown positive attitudes as well.

      About the failure to start the job in the Dhanmondi area in September, Bikash said he was hopeful of settling some issues with the DSCC to convince it to give the nod to dig the streets and start the physical work of the project.

      "I think, during the next few meetings, we will be able to settle the issue with the DSCC," he told UNB.

      At present, a number of utility bodies, including Desco, DPDC, cable TV operators and internet service providers (ISPs) and state-owned land phone operator BDCL, use overhead cables.

      All these utilities hang their respective cables on the same poles used by the electricity supply company, which creates an eyesore and raises risk of accidents such as fires.

      DPDC officials said their mega scheme also includes setting up 40 substations in the city and moving overhead cables of Hatirjheel Lake underground. Their plans also include taking overhead cables underground from Jahangir gate in Cantonment to Motijheel.

      Earlier, DPDC completed its design and plan to implement its proposed underground cabling project to make the city free from overhead power cables.

      "Already, some of the equipment has reached the country and some more are on the way," he said, adding pole-mounted transformers will be replaced with box-type transformers.

      A total 36 box-type transformers, 296 six-way ring main units (RMU), 34 three-way RMUs and 130 LV Cabinets will be installed to facilitate the underground cabling system, Bikash said.

      DPDC officials said the project was supposed to kick off in January 2020, but the Chinese engineers who were responsible for designing became stuck in their hometown of Wuhan following the outbreak of Covid-19.


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