The Chennai Corporation has commenced a drive to remove illegal cables on streetlights in the city.

Cables on streetlights maintained by the Corporation on GST Road, Poonamallee High Road, Venkatnarayana Road and Triplicane High Road were removed on Friday. Illegal cables were also removed in Anna Nagar, Teynampet, Kodambakkam, Alandur and Adyar. A few roads in T. Nagar were covered on Thursday.

The Corporation will gradually expand the drive to remove underground cables that are inadequately covered and pose a risk to motorists and pedestrians. All such cables, present on many roads in the old city limits, will be removed in a few days,

“Many cables that posed a risk to pedestrians and vehicles in Triplicane were removed on Friday. The service providers should take measures to prevent disruption of services to residents,” said Mohammad Khadar, a resident of Triplicane.

Civic body employees who repair non-functional streetlights have been instructed to disconnect all cables without tags issued by the Corporation.

“The service providers have received tokens from the Chennai Corporation. As many as 2,000 km of cables have been tagged so far. The cables that are not tagged will be removed,” said a Corporation official.

The civic body will also impose a fine on agencies that use its facilities to provide support for cables without approval.

The civic body’s deadline for removal of cables was extended a number of times earlier. Telecom service providers and cable TV operators at a recent meeting had declared they would cooperate with the civic body in the removal of cables and ducting of underground optic fibre cables for road-laying work. However, the cables continue to be the biggest challenge to the completion of a number of civic infrastructure facilities.

A few months ago, the Corporation completed the collection of data from telecom service providers and cable TV operators to regulate such entities. A number of the operators and service providers have provided an updated list of stretches where they have laid cables. The civic body has planned to collect a revised track rent from the operators after making changes to underground infrastructure on bus routes and interior roads.

The initiative will also facilitate construction of cement concrete roads in the city. “The civic body is preparing estimates for laying 10,000 interior roads. The cement concrete roads will have at least a 1.5 feet dimension for ducting, and telecom service providers have also been asked to make suitable changes,” said the official.

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