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AP Fibre grid project may be merged with underground power cabling network in city

Visakhapatnam: The underground power cabling network (UPCN) and the AP Fiber Grid (APFG) project are likely to be merged once the cabling network is completed across the city by 2018.

While the APFG project had envisaged electricity poles, UPCN aims to remove them from the city. Hence, the officials involved in the UPCN project are planning to incorporate the APFG project in the UPCN once the cabling network is up and running.

The state revenue department, which is the UPCN project management unit, is likely to hold a meeting with the APFG project management unit in Hyderabad soon to discuss the pros and cons of the merger. Officials of both the projects will also sign an MoU regarding the decision, sources said.

Confirming the news, a senior official from the Vizag-based project implementation unit of UPCN said, “Our higher ups are still discussing the installation of fiber cables along with the electricity cables. However, we are still awaiting an official confirmation.”

When contacted, Vajja Krishna, executive director of APFG (infrastructure), said the initial plan was to develop the APFG project by using the electricity poles of the AP Transco and AP Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP Limited (APEPDCL) in the first phase followed by the underground cabling of the fiber grid in the second phase.

“For the time being, we will use electricity poles in the entire state including Vizag for our fiber grid project. Later we will go for underground cabling of the fiber grid. If the city’s underground cable network becomes operational before us, then we will use the UPCN network for the APFG project. However, nothing certain can be said without examining the feasibility report,” Krishna added.

Krishna further said they have so far covered nearly 10,000 kilometres against the target of 22,300 kilometres of fiber cabling in the state. “We had planned to provide the services to the people in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam by the end of April followed by the rest of the state by August,” he said.

Regarding the UPCN project, the project implementation unit official said they were waiting for World Bank’s approval to the environmental impact report and also their remarks on the public hearing that was held at MVP Colony in February. “Everything related to the UPCN is going as per schedule,” the officer said.

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