As I go around with a camera in hand around Tokyo there are so many locations where overhead power lines ruin a good angle and view. Consider the snap below, a blue sky with the Skytree popping out with the unnecessary noise of the electricity cables. PHOTOSHOP PLEASE…..Leaving aside the visual aesthetics, there are pros and cons with both overhead and underground cables. Supporters of the underground cable cite factors like toppled poles block roads and prevent emergency vehicles from swiftly reaching victims and the NPO, Non-Pole Community cites the example of Hanshin Earthquake that struck Kobe in 1995, where neighborhoods with above-ground power lines were much more extensively damaged.
TEPCO, the electric power company on the other hand argues in favor of the overhead power lines. TEPCO says that in the events of floods or landslides, it’s harder to isolate damaged areas of a subterranean system if the power cables are underground. Also the construction costs are high to take them under ground too.
Prime Minister Abe at a meeting with the group Non Pole Community (無電柱化を推進する市区町村長の会) headed by Mr yamashita and promised to to speed up the process to have a underground power line system in place before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. Although this may not happen overnight, hopefully Olympics gives the needful push to the initiative and we see a city and country with clutter free skyline and much more effective system to withstand disasters and earthquakes. The NPO requested Abe to speed up the bill in parliament “無電柱化推進法案” which will in effect convert it into a law to move the cables underground.
Interesting times for the city skyline ahead…. the photographer inside me is smiling…