State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said all the overhead power cables in Dhaka and other major cities will go underground within the next five years.
“We’ll do this for ensuring uninterrupted and secured power supply, not only for beautification,” he said while addressing a contract signing ceremony at the Bidyut Bhaban in the city on Wednesday.
At the function, state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed a contract with Australian firm Energy Tron R&D KIS Group to award the Tk 25.30 crore job of taking overhead electric cables underground in four cities — Sylhet, Cumilla, Chattogram and Mymensingh.
Energy Tron will implement the project within the next 12 months which include review of the distribution network master plan, mapping the existing and proposed network, field survey for cable routes, design and drawing of the proposed cable routes and transfer of technology.
Welcoming the deal, Nasrul Hamid said this will help turn the cities into modern ones where uninterrupted and secured electricity supply will be ensured.
The function was also addressed by Power Secretary Dr Sultan Ahmed, acting PDB Chairman Zahirul Haque and Principal Engineer of Energy Tron Khandaker Wahidul Islam.
The state minister said the Power Division has undertaken the project following the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who first gave the idea to take the overhead electric cables underground. “Such innovative and modern idea should have come from engineers, but unfortunately engineers have no interest to adopt the modern and new technology,” he said.
He said all the distribution companies, including DPDC, Desco and West Zone Power Distribution Company, have been asked to take similar projects to take the overhead cables underground.
Nasurl Hamid mentioned that DPDC has already taken projects to take its 33kV and 11 kV distribution lines under the ground.
The company will build underground substations as well in different areas of Dhaka city, he added.
The state minister said PDB has already removed overhead electricity cables in some parts of Sylhet city while the entire city’s overhead cables will be removed and taken underground under the new project.
He urged PDB engineers to learn from the Australian firm about maintenance of underground power cables.
Dr Sultan Ahmed said the Power Division has been top on the list in regard to implementation of the annual development plan (ADP) as it has already implemented 43 percent while other ministry’s implementation rate is 23 percent.