Open telephone and television cables have long troubled Karachiites. Not only do they pose a risk of electrocution, they can also be a nuisance for commuters and mar the city’s beauty.
In a bid to rid the metropolis of these troublesome conductors, an under-grounding project has been launched, which will cover Karachi’s South district first and then will be expanded to the rest of the city.
The project aims to replace overhead cables with cables buried deep under the ground.
The pilot project launched in the South district has been divided into four phases.
In the first phase, cables will be under-grounded in the red zone. Then, the district’s posh areas, including Defence Housing Authority and Clifton, will witness overhead cables being replaced by underground cables in the second phase. Saddar and its adjacent areas will be covered in the third phase and the remaining, more densely populated areas of the district will be covered in the last phase.
According to officials at the Karachi Commissioner’s office, the project, costing Rs 4 billion, is being jointly initiated by 18 private telecommunication companies, which have been authorized by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to execute the project. These companies will also be responsible for repairing any damage caused to road infrastructure while burying the cables.
Confirming these developments, South deputy commissioner (DC) Irshad Ahmed Sodhar said the pilot project was initiated last month and its execution in the district was expected to reach completion by December this year.
Elaborating further, he said that cables would be buried at least two feet deep and the project would only cover main roads, not streets.
The project is planned to cover the entire city later, with the process of laying underground cables across Karachi, as part of this initiative, likely to take two years, the officials at Karachi Commissioner’s office told. In the project, cables will be under-grounded over an expanse of roughly 400 kilometres, including 90Km to 100Km in South district alone, they said.