6 June 2024

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has joined hands with the Metropolitan Electricity Administration (MEA) to reorganise overhead cables along Charoen Krung Road, by removing unused cables, in a renewed bid to improve Bangkok’s environment.

The attempt by the city administration to relocate the cables underground has stalled, after most telecom service providers shied away from the project due to the high costs being charged by Krungthep Thanakom, the investment arm of BMA.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt admitted yesterday (Monday) that relocating the overhead cables to eradicate the eyesore is costly and complicated, so the city administration, in collaboration with the MEA, has decided to cut unused cables, running for about 4km along Charoen Krung Road. The work is expected to be completed within a month.

He said that the BMA cannot just arbitrarily cut the cables, but will have to consult the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, as well as the mobile phone service providers.  He insisted that this method is more cost effective and faster than relocating the lines underground.

He also said that the MEA plans to reorganise another 450km of cabling in the capital, in accordance with the MEA’s geographic information system (GIS), in parallel with the plan to replace more than 100,000 street lightbulbs with LED bulbs.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Wisanu Subsompon, meanwhile, said that, from now on, mobile phone service operators will have submit an official notification if they want to run cables between MEA power poles, so that the MEA will know which companies own them.

He said that mobile phone service providers previously installed their cables without seeking permission from the MEA for the use of its utility poles.

After the completion of the removal of cables on Charoen Krung Road, Wisanu said that the BMA will then move on to other roads, such as Saladaeng, Convent, Soi Phiphat and then Sukhumvit Road.