Tokyo to go “zero pole” by 2020 Olympics at a cost of $6.8B

Japan, Tokyo: Tokyo Electric Power Holdings (Tepco) has been assigned with removing hundreds of thousands of utility power poles across Tokyo, so the visitors of the 2020 Olympics can enjoy uninterrupted views of its famous cherry blossoms and neon-lit streets.

The Tokyo governor is eager to accelerate the “zero pole” plans to remove the poles from the metropolis – a project that could cost as much as $6.8 billion, reports Today Online.

The Japanese government and the public feel that Japan has too many power poles and cables compared to other countries. Reportedly, there are almost as many utility poles scattered across Japan as there are cherry trees — about 35 million.

This has raised criticism that city’s development is too far behind the likes of Paris, London and Hong Kong, where 100 per cent of power lines are buried underground versus just 7 per cent in central Tokyo.

Also, there is an argument that the poles could exacerbate a catastrophe should a large earthquake hit Tokyo.

The Tokyo government plans to start and complete works to bury 916 km of currently overhead cables by the end of March 2019 before eventually laying 1,442 km of wires underground across the city.

Source: Today Online