City Hall Wants All Telecom Cables Underground in 2 Years

BANGKOK — City Hall said Thursday it will once again attempt to clear the tangled mess of cables that hang over Bangkok streets, though promising only the undergrounding of communication lines this time.

Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang said the administration has partnered with the national broadcasting regulator to move all telecommunication cables across the capital underground within two years, as part of its campaign to “beautify the city’s scenery.”

Aswin said the work will start after the May royal coronation ceremony. The project was granted to Krungthep Thanakom, one of the operators of the city rail network (BTS).

According to Aswin, the burying process will stretch more than 2,400 kilometers across the capital but insisted that the work won’t “disturb the public.”

In 2017, the state electricity authority said it would underground power lines along Bangkok’s Ratchadaphisek Road by 2021.

The city has intermittently launched bids for the project of undergrounding the messily hung power and utilities lines long complained about as eyesores and potentially fatal hazards. But the process has so far dragged on with little achievement.

A Thammasat University student filed a police complaint on Wednesday night after he was injured by a falling cable while riding a motorcycle back to his dorm in northern metro Bangkok.

In 2016, billionaire Bill Gates posted a photo of a hanging mass of cables in Bangkok, prompting embarrassed officials to promise they would bury the lines within five years.