Electric transmission wires, along with telephone, satellite and internet cables have been hanging chaotically above most of the roads in Sylhet, hiding the beauty of the city and increasing the risks of accident.
But now the picturesque city has a chance to get rid of those haphazard webs of wires as Bangladesh Power Development Board is implementing an initiative to set up underground electric transmission lines in the city.
The initiative is part of a Tk2,053 crore project approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council in July, 2018 titled "Power Distribution System Development in Sylhet Division."
As a part of the project, electric transmission lines in several areas of the city will be shifted beneath the ground with an expenditure of Tk55 crore. The project began in February this year and is scheduled to end within June, 2021.
Gradually, the entire transmission wire network of the Sylhet Metropolitan area will be shifted underground, said project officials.
Meanwhile, Power Development Board officials said power distribution and transmission lines are regularly getting torn in Sylhet, as the city is prone to storms and torrential rain.
Power supply in many areas of the city gets interrupted because of such weather conditions and sometimes accidents also occur. To deal with the problem, the then Finance Minister AMA Muhith took an initiative to further develop the power distribution system in Sylhet.
"Under the project, a 22/23 kilovolts sub-station will be set up and 2,500 kilometres of transmission lines will be shifted underground in the Sylhet division. A significant amount of work is currently pending, including setting up 3,500 transformers," said MM Siddique, the project director.
He added that Sylhet city has 70 kilometres of transmission lines. Primarily, seven kilometres of the lines will be shifted underground. If the pilot project becomes successful, the rest of the transmission lines will also be shifted beneath the ground.
Ruhul Alam, executive engineer of the Sylhet City Corporation confirmed that lines including satellite, telephone and internet will be moved underground as part of the project.
Ariful Haque Chowdhury, mayor of the Sylhet City Corporation, told The Business Standard, "The initiative has been taken to reduce public suffering. The city dwellers will be free from accidents caused by torn power cables after the underground electric lines are set up.
"The entire electric transmission line network will be shifted underground to make Sylhet a smart city."