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New Bylaw Targets Overhead Cables, Powerlines

Overhead cable lines along a city roadHave you been troubled by the sight of cables and powerlines dangling from electric poles above the streets of Taipei? In an attempt to “free up the sky,” the New Construction Office (NCO) has decided to act against the tangled network of wires above our heads by drafting the “Taipei City Roads Overhead Cable and Line Deployment Regulations”.
 
According to Director Chen of Taipei City Road and Pipeline Information Center (RPIC), all overhead wire, powerlines, and cable deployed in the vicinity of Taipei’s roads and streets – regardless of private or public lines – must receive permission by applying to the authority in accordance to the bylaw starting July 1, 2021. As for existing lines and cables, owners need to re-apply for approval before July of 2024.
 
Those deploying lines without permission or failing to acquire reapproval by the deadline will be fined between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000 based on Article 29 of the bylaw. The cables in question may be forcefully taken down as well, with the owners being charged the removal cost.
 
Chief Huang of NCO Road Excavation Management Section pointed out that in the future, regulations will require that overhead lines and cables maintain a height of at least 4.6 meters above the road surface and avoid tangling and crisscrossing. Those deployed legitimately must have labels on both ends providing information such as applicant name and permit number.
 
Furthermore, the bylaw prohibits the deployment or expansion of overhead cables for road sections with installed common subterranean duct or cable pipelines. Owners must remove the overhead cables or redeploy them via the common duct or cable pipelines. Hopefully, this will speed up the overall effort to relocate these utility wires below surface.