Visakhapatnam: Vizag city is expected to become ‘poles-free’ when the work on laying the electricity grid is completed by next March.

The project is being developed by APEPDCL with an investment of Rs 720crore, of which the World Bank will finance 70 per cent and the state government 30 per cent.

“Around 80 percent of the work has been done and the rest will be completed by March,” said project executive engineer Sri Devi.

Talk to Deccan Chronicle, Sri Devi said that most of the city is getting power through underground cables. The work is going on in parts of the MVP Colony, the most populated area in AP, and some other areas.

The appearance of the city will change after the pillars are removed. So far, 959 poles have been removed. Street lights will be maintained by the GVMC. Meanwhile, the 11kv and 33kv lines have gone down. Towers carrying high power cables will remain as such for some more time.

Agreements and contracts were signed in 2016 and the project is expected to be completed within 18 months. There are many prevention measures related to Covid-19 that have slowed down the operations, said Sri Devi.

The project is divided into four packages. One was taken by L&T, two by Vijay Electricals and one by Jackson Electricals. L&T completed its work as per the schedule but the other two producers were late. “Work is progressing slowly at the moment,” the EE said.

After the project is completed, shipping and delivery losses can be reduced by half a percent. AP’s shipping losses are currently six percent, the lowest in the country, he said.

Explaining the other benefits of removing overhead power lines, the engineer said the city can become greener by growing trees. There is no need to cut or cut trees as was done in the past to secure power lines during monsoons, added Sri Devi.

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