One of the many reasons city roads get flooded after even a short spell of rain, is that drains are often blocked by optical fibre cable (OFC) ducts.
According to the interim report prepared by a Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) committee to look into the loss caused to the civic body because of unauthorised OFC network, apart from roads and footpaths, the ducts have also been created in the BWSSB sewage system. At least 1,700 km of drains has been appropriated for this illegally.
The BWSSB has reportedly filed several complaints, as the cables choke the drains during rain and cause flooding.
In Mahadevapura, Yelahanka and Bommanahalli, it was found that OFC ducts and extension boxes have been illegally fixed in BBMP’s shoulder drains.
Internet service providers — there are more than14 of them in Bangalore — have laid more than 10,000 km of overhead OFC, which can be seen dangling from trees, and electricity and telephone poles. The companies don’t pay a fee to the BBMP.
More than 15,000 inspection boxes have been installed by digging pits on arterial and sub arterial roads causing damage to roads as well as footpaths that are later repaired by BBMP from the public exchequer.
The interim report describes the modus operandi of the operation: while one company seeks permission to either lay OFC ducts or install inspection box, ducts or inspection boxes of several others are also laid illegally.
Ducts for future use
And, permission is taken for laying cables, but instead ducts, which can carry four to five cables, are laid. Some ducts are empty, as companies plan to use them for future commercial operations without seeking BBMP permission again.
Service providers have rented out their OFC network to IT companies, earning considerable rent. However, only a few have taken permission from the BBMP for their activities, the interim report has said.