Workers tie electrical wires together on a street in HCM City. ​(Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Residents have welcomed efforts to move electrical wires and telecommunication cables underground in downtown HCM City.

By 2020, almost all overhead electrical wires in the city’s inner districts will be buried, according to HCM City Power Corporation under Electricity of Vietnam (EVN HCM City).

In suburban areas, the work will be carried out first in crowded areas near administrative centres or malls.

It is expected that by 2025, overhead electrical wires will have completely disappeared in the city.

In 2009, HCM City People’s Committee approved a proposal to move electrical and telecommunication wires underground to improve the city’s image and safety. The EVN HCM City was assigned with carrying out the task.

Hoang Oanh, a store owner on Vo Thi Sau street in District 3, said that locals used to worry about the bundle of telecom cables in front of her store because it sagged down under its own weight and looked like it could collapse at any time.

Once the cables are cleared, her neighborhood feels much less claustrophobic, Oanh said.

Overhead intertwined electrical wires and telecom cables, locally referred to as ‘spider webs’, have been a characteristic of big cities like Hanoi and HCM City for years.

“Streets look safer and larger when electrical wires are buried,” a resident Thi Hoang Thuong told the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, adding that crowded streets with overhead electrical wires made the atmosphere stuffy.

Tran Van Hoan, vice director of  Saigon Power Company, a branch of EVN HCM City, said that electrical wires on 40 streets in District 1 and District 3 had been buried.

This year, the company expected to complete the work Le Thi Hong Gam, Nguyen Thai Binh, Nguyen Cong Tru, Le Cong Kieu, Pho Duc Chinh and Yersin streets, he said.

“Besides working on major roads, the company expanded to alleys. This year, we plan to bury electrical wires in eight alleys and next year, 29 others in the city centre,” Hoan said.

Deputy General Director of EVN HCM City Pham Quoc Bao said that city authorities plan to bury another 650km of medium-voltage and 1,150km of low-voltage cables, focusing on main streets in Districts 1 and 3 between 2016 and 2020, the Tuoi tre newspaper reported.

Between 2011 and 2015, 104 projects were carried out on 62 main streets, with 358km of medium-voltage and 620km of low-voltage cables buried underground.

Up to now, 60 percent of the work was completed, Bao said.

When the electrical wires were buried, electrical boxes were built to connect the underground power grid to households, with the boxes an essential part of the network, Bao responded to residents’ concerns over the safety of the boxes.

Written on the boxes are warnings “Danger! Don’t approach!”, which scared people from having them near their houses.

Bao said that the company would ask constructors to make the boxes look friendlier.-VNA