Work on underground cabling in Dhanmondi to start in September

Logo of Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd

Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) will start physical work on taking overhead cables underground in the Dhanmondi area from September as part of its mega project to ensure safer transmission of electricity, reports UNB.

“We’ve completed all our necessary preparation at a meeting today (Tuesday) to start the work in September”, said Bikash Dewan, managing director of the DPDC, a public limited company under the Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.

He said the distribution body is now waiting for the permission from Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) to dig the streets in the Dhanmondi area where the project will start on a pilot basis.

“We hope we’ll get the permission soon as the DSCC mayor is very positive about our project,” he told the newspersons.

The Dhanmondi underground cabling project is part of the DPDC’s mega scheme for which the organisation signed a contract with the Chinese contractor TBEA in September in 2019.

Under the Dhanmondi project, 190 km of overhead electricity cables, an eyesore in the city, will be taken underground, DPDC officials said.

Of these, about 115 km are of 11 kV overhead lines, and 75 km are 0.4 kV lines, they said adding that all kinds of overhead electric cables will go underground and no cable will remain visible in a particular part of Dhanmondi area that includes Satmasjid Road, Mirpur Road, City College and Greenherald School area.

The DPDC officials said the China-funded Tk 205 billion worth mega scheme also includes setting up 40 substations in the city and moving overhead cables of Hatirjheel Lake underground. Taking overhead cables underground from Jahangir gate in Cantonment to Motijheel is also included in DPDC’s other similar project.

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 reached the country and some are on the way,” he said, adding that pole-mounted transformers will be replaced with box-type transformers under the project.

Some 36 box-type transformers, 296 of 6-way ring main units (RMU), 34 of 3-way RMUs and 130 LV Cabinet will be installed to facilitate the underground cabling system, said Bikash Dewan.

DPDC officials said the project was supposed to kick off in January last year. But the Chinese engineers who were responsible for designing the works got stuck in their hometown Wuhan following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

But they later returned to Dhaka and got engaged in the project after the improvement in the coronavirus situation both in China and Bangladesh.

Bikash said once the project is implemented, it will play a vital role in improving the power distribution system and substantially check the unexpected interruption in power supply.

There are widespread allegations from the consumers that interruptions take place frequently in many areas in the city.

DPDC officials admitted that it happens due to a weakness in the distribution system despite the fact that there is no shortage in electricity supply.

Under the power distribution system upgrading project, the capacity of a number of substations will also be improved, they added.

Before starting the fieldwork, DPDC has invited both city corporations, internet service providers (ISPs) and cable TV operators to join the project for its proper implementation through better coordination.

But the power distribution company’s call seems to have gone unheeded as it has not yet received any response from other authorities.

“So far, we’ve not received any response to our appeal to the city corporations and others,” said Bikash.

City’s overhead cables, especially the internet and cable TV lines, have created a huge pressure on electricity lines which often pose a serious threat to public safety.

The DPDC top executive said the organization is now installing a 132/33 kV substation project at Shahidulla Residential Hall area in Dhaka University to enhance its distribution capacity for which some high-voltage cables are being laid underground in the city Paltan area.