The hazards posed by overhead power lines are very real
There is no denying that Dhaka, as of now, is a city of overhead cables -- which include its countless power lines. For years, overhead lines along with electricity poles have posed a variety of dangers to people of the city. Not to mention, they clutter up the city, and add to a general unpleasantness of living in the capital.
The comments made by State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources recently, suggesting that overhead electricity lines will be relocated underground in the next five years is, then, welcome news.
No doubt, successfully putting our power lines away from sight will be a vast improvement for not just Dhaka, but for other urban areas of the country -- the minister pledged that along with Dhaka, Gazipur, Narayanganj, Chittagong, Sylhet, Mymensingh, and Comilla cities would also be brought under the underground electricity network.
To really achieve this successfully, a clear-sighted plan is needed which minimizes troubles for city-dwellers in the meantime. Projects like this can involve digging or closing off specific roads, which can cause great inconvenience to commuters, and those intangible costs should be factored into the project.
The hazards posed by overhead power lines are very real. Indeed, there are instances of electrocution caused by these cables. Furthermore, if fires break out as a result, there is no telling what the cost would be to society, a cost which includes the loss of life.
Safety and beauty are not the only reasons for moving these power cables -- the concern is also environmental, as trees often get cut down to make way for overhead lines.
This new initiative, then, is a great plan we can all get behind, but the ministry concerned needs to also make sure that it is done right, and it is done fast.