Fund shortfall blocks move to bury utility cables on Third Road

Friday, 14 March 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 11 By  Urasin Khantaraphan

Money remains the main stumbling block to continuing efforts to bury utility wires below Pattaya’s streets.

City Councilman Banlue Kullavanijaya, who has led the war on unsightly power, telephone and cable-television wires over the past few years, met March 4 with representatives from the Provincial Electrical Authority, CAT Telecom, TOT, the Banglamung Waterworks Authority and Pattaya local cable operators to move forward plans to relocate cables along Third Road and other tourists areas below ground.

The utility companies threw up a variety of perceived obstacles to the plan, from their inability to widen Third Road to continued flooding in targeted areas.

City Councilman Banlue Kullavanijaya’s effort to get unsightly utility cables buried is running into a financial brick wall. City Councilman Banlue Kullavanijaya’s effort to get unsightly utility cables buried is running into a financial brick wall.

But funds repeatedly emerged as the main obstacle, with neither city hall, Banglamung District nor any of the utility companies claiming to have the budget to do the job.

PEA officials said they still have problems with electrical poles that need to be moved or changed in size. Some are full of wires from other companies, which pads PEA’s profit line thanks to rental charges. However, utility officials maintained the losses caused by pole fires and repairs outweigh any rental income.

The main problem is that there are insufficient funds to prepare the roads for construction, dig the trenches, replace cables and complete the work, officials maintained.

The meeting adjourned with officials no closer to agreement and with the prospects of a tidier Pattaya just as far away.

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