11 July 2024

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) may scrap the project to move all the overhead electric and telecommunication cables underground, as most telecom service providers have shied away from the project due to its high investment costs, estimated at about 19 billion baht.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Wisanu Subsompon said that, at this stage, the city administration has instructed its investment arm, Krungthep Thanakom which is the project owner, to slow down the work, as telecom service providers have shown little interest.

He said that, if the project is to proceed to completion, the city administration expects the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the telecom regulator, to share the costs as well.

Cables on some roads in Bangkok, covering a distance of 7.2km, have so far been put underground by the BMA at an estimated cost of 140 million baht, but the overhead cables in the capital span a total distance of about 2,450km.

In the meantime, the Metropolitan Electricity Administration (MEA) has separately put its electric cables into underground cable ducts over a total distance of 62km and it is expected to complete work on another 12km stretch of road this year.

It has a plan to seek approval from the cabinet to relocate cables, covering a distance of 77.3km, within the next five years, after which all the power poles will be removed.

The project to the cables is one of the BMA’s ambitious plans to beautify Bangkok’s environment by eradicating the cable eyesore.