Authorities in Hanoi are seeking to remove the enormous tangle of overhead electric lines, phone and television cables.

The move comes as part of efforts to meet the deadline called for in the city's plan in 2011 to bury all wires underground by 2015.

According to the municipal People's Committee, the tangled wires are making the city ugly and posing a threat to people's lives.

Accordingly, the Lighting and Urban Equipment Company will work with the Hanoi Power Corporation to remove all wires that are no longer in use. The corporation estimated that it would have to remove about 120km of low-voltage lines. It said one problem was determining which lines were still in use.

The Department of Transport will also replace 784 electric and light poles.

Within this year, the city plans to re-arrange overhead wires in four streets in the inner city and clear up the communications lines.

The committee's Vice Chairman Nguyen Quoc Hung said he had assigned the Department of Construction to work on the problem.

So far, the department has set up three options for the city. The first is to re-arrange the wires and tie into bundles, which is estimated to cost 100 million VND (4,700 USD) per kilometre. The second option is to add more poles and beams to support the wires, which will cost about 2 billion VND (95,200 USD) per kilometre. The third is to replace all wires, which would be very costly.

The People's Committee will soon select a final option.-VNA