BBMP prepares to crack the whip for noncompliance of fiat

Six out of the 15 telecom companies that operate in the city have failed to submit details of the optic fibre cables (OFC) laid by them over the last 10 years.

Cracking the whip against unauthorised road-cutting to lay the OFCs, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Palike had, in June this year, directed all the 15 telecom companies to file an affidavit to the office of the Engineer-in-Chief by July 31 detailing the OFC laid over the past years.

The details were to be submitted by the respective Chief Executive Officer or General Manager of the telecom companies as an affidavit on a Rs. 200 stamp paper.

Only nine comply

However, according to highly placed sources in the BBMP, only nine companies submitted their details till August 1.

They are Aircel, Hathway, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., Tata Teleservices, Idea, Vodafone, Reliance, Spectra Net and Bell Teleservices.

Deputy Mayor S. Harish told The Hindu BBMP will issue a notice to them before initiating action.

The telecom companies, who have no option but to fall in line with the BBMP's diktat, will now have to pay ground rent, besides an initial deposit as way of regularisation.

Road-cutting

Meanwhile, sources said the declarations filed by the telecom companies include details on the extent of OFCs laid — both authorised and unauthorised —locations and permission sought for the work.

Earlier, permission for cutting roads to lay the OFCs was granted by the zonal Joint Commissioner's office.

However, since April, it has been centralised, i.e., by the head office. The BBMP has proposed to collect an initial payment of Rs. 300 per metre of running cable and Rs. 120 per metre as ground rent.

The BBMP also proposes to form three teams to verify the telecom companies' affidavits. Any firm guilty of fudging figures will have to pay three times the initial deposit as penalty.

It was the Yediyur councillor N.R. Ramesh who raised the matter at the BBMP Council meeting a few months ago.

Mr. Ramesh cited examples to state that flouting norms, the telecom companies had laid OFCs more than 10 times the permitted extent.

Over the past 10 years, the cash-strapped civic body has been able to get only Rs. 29 crore from the companies, mainly service providers.

Of this, the BBMP had to spend nearly Rs. 13 crore on repairing the roads after the telecom firms raked them to lay their cables.

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