Mr. Chaipat Sukphaiboonwat, MEA Assistant Project Director, stated that MEA has focused on improving power efficiency for smart living in response to the policy of the Ministry of Interior and the government, thus the underground power project has been consistently implementing to increase stability of the electrical system, to meet user demands, to reduce accidents due to natural disasters causing light poles to collapse, to ensure public safety, and to beautify the landscape. This operation is a continuation of the underground power project in the heart of Bangkok. Nana Nuea Road is regarded as one of the most important economic areas and tourism destinations so the improvement of power stability and the modification of scenery by removing light poles and power lines will lift up Thailand’s image and stimulate Thai economy through tourism. In addition, MEA has converted unused light poles and old car tires into wave buffers under the MEA’s Model to prevent coastal erosion in Bang Khun Thian and the King Rama V Fortress areas, Bangkok Naval Base, as those poles are durable and can lessen the impact of waves while bringing sustainable rehabilitation for the mangrove forests.
The Project on Nana Nuea Road covered a total distance of 0.75 kilometers from Nana Intersection to the bridge over Saen Saeb Canal whose operations commenced from July 2018 to August 2019, totaling 14 months under the budget of 29.7 million baht. The construction has received a great collaboration from relevant agencies. During the construction phase, MEA has precisely specified operational processes to minimize impacts on business operators, tourists, communities and residents in the areas. MEA has conducted meetings with business operators to clarify the project’s work and has met the residents to raise awareness while assessing problems and finding solutions to reduce the impacts. Each step of the construction has been upgraded to meet all requirements such as procedures, methods, and equipment standards. All efforts were made to ensure the construction was on track with safety, including building temporary barricades to provide footpaths for the public and tourists, installing safety lights for convenient use of walkways, using concrete covers (temporary) to open and close the traffic surface in order to least affect the street traffic, and improving pavements with new, strong and beautiful tiles for a good image of Nana Nuea Road.
Currently MEA has been carrying out the projects to convert the electric distribution system, from overhead to underground, totaling 215.6 kilometers, divided into 47.85 kilometers of completed projects and 167.75 kilometers of projects in progress which are:
1. Projects under construction with a distance of 74.8 kilometers: Nonsi Project, Rama III Project, Ratchadapisek-Rama IX Project, Wireless Road Project, Project surrounding the Chitralada Palace, Projects along the MRT Blue Line and along the MRT green line (Bearing-Samut Prakan).
2. Projects to be signed for construction in 2019 covering a distance of 94.2 kilometers and value of contracts worth more than 20,000 million Baht such as projects in the inner-city areas, projects along the different MRT lines and projects in collaboration with other public utility agencies.The Ratchadaphisek-Asoke Road is the next project that MEA will hold a meeting this October to clarify the construction plans in order to least affect the public.