Korea Busan : The horrible utility poles, electric wires.





When I was young, I was afraid of the electric shock by touching the electric wires in the sky. It is mostly because the sky was fully covered with black webs. I could often see the warning pictures on the school-textbook that instruct children to be attentive of the wires while playing. A boy flying a kite on the street gets an electric shock. It was the one, the most impressive drawing of those. It has been 15 years since I saw those dreadful imaginary scenes but the situation does not seem to change since then.

If we choose the one of the things that deter the beauty of the city, it is obviously these horrible poles on the street. Being unknown when it is going to be fallen or collapse. It stands frighteningly along the roads. 

The primary reason why it has reached this situation is the not-organized cityplan by the government. As you might know, or hear about Korea, it has developed rapidly since the release from the governance of Japan. The government had focused on the great economic success more than anything else to escape from the severe famine and poorness. It considered the view of the city, or even the safeness of the citizen as the frill that hinder the economic progress.

However, as Korea has become the one of the G20, as a developed country, the governament become aware of the facts that it just had neglected, the beaty of the city and the security for the citizen on the street. Then, it has started to improve the condition of the utility poles since 2006. it has passed the policy to promote the undergroundization of the poles to better the welfare of the city. 

Unfortunately, it got has some issues regarding the budget. As you know, all the problems come from the money, and there is no difference here. 

First of all, the Korean electric power corporation(KEPC) just pay just 700~900 won per pole and the amount will be get discounted by 50% through the law supporting the business for common goods. but they charge the enormous fee, around 15,000 won, to other private cable, or telephone companies each. Finally, they earn 2~3 billion won by lenting the poles to private companies throughout the country. The public company, actually it has privatized, still has the features of the public company, attempts to get profits from the citizen.

Secondly, During the process of the undergroundization of the poles, both the Seoul governmnet and KEPC were supposed to take half-budget, about 40 billions. However, KEPC excusing the budget shortage, it has paused the budget transfer for the project tentatively. As a result, the work has been stopped and Seoul government throw the lawsuit againt KEPC. 

As I said above, the pole has been disappearing from the cities. According to the news article, Seoul achieved 54 % of removal, Daejeon 47%, Busan 33%. It is certain that the project gradually processes thanks to the government, but compared to the developed cities such as London with 100% of subterean utility pole and Tokyo with 88%, Korea has far way to go.  

I think . . When I walk along the street, I feel so terrified by the overloaded electric poles. This any frightful electric wires seem to pounce upon me. Someday I hope to look up at the clear sky and fly a kite not fightened with those black web in Busan.

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