He meets representatives of 18 companies on ground rent
Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy asked telecom companies to come to an amicable agreement with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) regarding payment of ground rent for the OFC (optic fibre cables) laid by the firms.
Mr. Murthy, who met representatives of 18 telecom companies on Monday to discuss the ground rent, asked them to arrive at an “agreeable” amount within five days for the monthly rent they were obliged to pay the BBMP for cables already laid.
The BBMP Council had approved the proposal to charge one-time payment of Rs. 300 per metre from the companies as road cutting charges and Rs. 900 per metre to regularise the OFC laid so far.
That apart, it approved the proposal to charge Rs. 120 per metre per month as ground rent.
The telecom companies, contending that the rent charges were high, challenged it in the High Court of Karnataka, which issued a stay order and asked the BBMP to stop the OFC disconnection drive as well.
Last year, the BBMP had hoped to collect over Rs. 780 crore from the telecom companies but the court case put paid to all that.
Sources said that the Mayor urged the representatives to arrive at a consensus at the earliest so that the BBMP could add it the revenue projections in the budget.
“The budget will be presented in a month. This issue cannot be postponed any further.
“Once a consensus is reached, it will be brought before the BBMP Council for approval.
“The BBMP will seek the approval of district in-charge Minister and State Government,” an official said.