Vientiane authorities have given the green light to three companies for a pilot project to redirect overhead electrical cables underground as part of long-term beautification plans for the Lao capital’s downtown.
Vientiane Director of Post and Telecommunications Sikhone Onsiphansa told Lao media recently that authorities have agreed to assign three companies to undertake the pilot project to improve three main thoroughfares in the city.
The plan will target 23 Singha Road from Patouxay Monument to the Ministry of Finance, Kaysone Phomvihane Road from Patouxay Monument to Phonsa-ard traffic lights, and from the Presidential Office traffic lights to Mahosot Hospital lights.
The companies will be responsible for funding the pilot project, which once complete, will be assessed by relevant officials to determine whether to continue the reorganisation of electricity lines along other roads in Vientiane.
Sikhone explained that installing underground electrical cables was a long-term aim of Vientiane, which would require a considerable investment to ensure the lines were out of sight.
A launch date for the pilot project was yet to be determined by officials, he added.
According to authorities, taking cables underground had additional advantages such as having lower transmission losses, lower maintenance costs, and lines were less likely to be impacted by severe weather.
The latest initiative follows a beautification project along Lane Xang Avenue that kicked off in 2014 under the supervision of Vientiane authorities.
The project comprised the construction of symbols relevant to the history of Vientiane’s main thoroughfare such as elephants, while electricity poles were painted green in line with one of the city’s official slogans.
Other related planned work included repaving the sidewalks, painting buildings, houses and shops along both sides of the road, and planting flowering shrubs and trees.
City officials said the transformation of Lane Xang Avenue is aimed at making the capital a safer, more modern, orderly and attractive place to live, work and visit.
Authorities hoped the upgrade would also go some way to addressing traffic congestion which has become a growing concern in recent years.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK