Else, BBMP will disconnect the cables or auction them

Telecom service providers have been given time till Saturday to declare optical fibre cables (OFCs) laid without authorisation across the city. If they fail to do so, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will take ownership of these cables and either disconnect them or auction them, said N.R. Ramesh, OFC committee member and Yediyur councillor.

Undeclared overhead cables of the various Internet service providers would be disconnected after January 1, as per instructions of the BBMP Commissioner, he added.

The councillor told presspersons here on Thursday that the committee had found that of the 65,000 km of cables laid in the city, only around 7,500 km were authorised. BBMP has dug pits in 771 places across the city to verify the extent of violations in laying OFCs, he said.

Fee agreement

After a series of meetings with chief executive officers of 31 service providers, including 17 telecom service providers, the BBMP and the companies agreed to fixing the right of way fee to lay cables at Rs. 850 a metre. Unauthorised cables that have already been laid may be regularised by paying penalty of Rs. 600 a metre along with the Rs. 850 a metre fee, Mr. Ramesh said.

The BBMP would soon sign a memorandum of understanding regarding the payment of right of way fees. “This is likely to bring in at least Rs. 400 crore revenue to the BBMP in the next three or four months,” he claimed.

Digging up roads

According to Mr. Ramesh, road cutting permissions have now been made transparent, with the entire process being computerised. Service providers have to apply online and make payments via online bank transfer. As many as 33 banks have been roped in.

“The software [developed for the process] is GIS enabled and permissions will be given only after the spots are inspected by engineers. The companies will have to restore the road after the cables are laid,” he said.

He added that permission would not be granted if the road had been asphalted less than a year ago. The same criterion would apply to other civic agencies that need to dig up roads, including Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company, and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. “We may grant them some concession as these agencies provide essential services,” he said.

More In: Bangalore