They are mainly for creating infrastructure on NH land

Broad guidelines have been issued for granting Right of Way (RoW) permission to licenced telecom operators and registered telecom infrastructure providers for installing and operating telecom infrastructure within National Highways (NH) land.

Telecom infrastructure under this project includes telecom tower, telecom tower foundation, all ancillary equipment and component such as optical fibre cable and duct needed to ensure connectivity of the towers.

The norms had been issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for creating and supporting robust telecommunication infrastructure and to promote optimum use of IT in an equitable and sustainable manner, official sources told The Hindu.

The Public Works Department (PWD) has been asked to keep in view the requirement of the widening of NH stretches to four lanes and six lanes while recommending for permission to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The NHAI Divisional/Executive Engineer will maintain a register of the record of RoW permission to licencees.

The facility will be available for licencees on payment of a licence fee. The fee for installing the telecom infrastructure will be based on the actual area occupied and the approved formula.

The present cost of land for calculation of the fee will be Rs.300 per sq. m. for rural areas, Rs.600 for municipal areas, and Rs.1,200 per sq. m. for cities having population of more than 10 lakh. In metros and large cities such as Thiruvananthapuram, the present cost of land will be Rs.2,500 per sq. m.

To expedite the granting of RoW permissions and to give them in a time-bound manner, the regional officer concerned of the NHAI and similar officers of the NH and Border Roads Organisation will be the approving authority.

Single window

A committee will be set up to act as a single window to coordinate the activities.

The telecom infrastructure as far as possible will be installed at the edge of RoW or at a maximum possible distance from the central line of the nearest carriageway where the road is wider. The NHAI had been asked to give due consideration to the traffic safety and to ensure that minimum distance is maintained between telecom infrastructure.

Henceforth, a performance bank guarantee at the rate of Rs.100 per sq. m. with a validity of one year initially will have to be furnished by the licencee as security against improper restoration of NH RoW, any damages caused to the NH traffic as well as to underground installations, utility services, and disruption caused to overhead or underground installations, utility service or failure to the services.

The guidelines that had come into effect already is to be followed uniformly across the country within NH land vested in or under the control or management of a local authority or of public authority, public Corporation, autonomous body, State or Union government in the respective licenced service area.

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