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Dhaka Thursday,  Nov 23, 2017

Planning Commission Questioned The Utility of Underground Substations 

Mhabub Roni

Underground substations are planned to be built at several places of the city due to a scarcity of land. However, the planning commission has questioned about the utilities of the underground stations as they would cost as much as 5 times of the current overhead substation schemes.

The power division has already signed a loan agreement with Japan’s development agency JICA to install two underground stations at Kawranbazaar and Gulshan on an experimental basis.

A meeting of the evaluation committee of the installation project of the underground substation at Kawranbazaar under the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) was held on 4th October, this year.

The meeting sources claimed that, the currently available overhead substation technology is not suitable for many places like where land scarcity is evident. Installing an underground substation will avail the authority to utilize the land over the substation. Even, DPDC and Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO) were instructed to install all the future substations beneath the ground.

However, the planning commission has sent back both the projects and asked the Power Division to rationalize the abnormally higher cost before seeking their approval.

Government officials said as per instructions from the government high-ups, DPDC and DESCO had taken up the two projects. The meeting sources also claimed that, considering the fact of scarcity and too much high cost of land at Dhaka city, installing traditional substations are no more practical. They said that, 132/33/11 kv indoor and underground substation would require 0.5 acres to 0.67 acres and 0.33 acres to 0.5 acres respectively. In a situation like this installing an underground substation in an area like Karwanbazaar would save a lot of land reduce the overall cost as well.

DPDC ma nagging director Eng. Bikash Dewan said that, we don’t have much land to install new substations which left us with no other option except for installing underground substations. The cost is relatively higher than that of traditional substations, more precisely saying the cost is 3 to 3.5 times higher, he added. But, underground substations will allow you to build multistoried buildings on it and we’re planning to build a 13 storied building at the proposed Karwanbazaar site. Once built in such a way, the underground substation will be a profitable investment and considering its security and the highly dense city scenario the underground substations are the future, he added.

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