After a lull, the Kochi Corporation is set to resume its campaign against low-hanging cables, with all cables hanging below the height of five metres to be cut whether they are in use or not.
At a meeting held in the Corporation Secretary’s chamber on July 29, cable company representatives had agreed to remove all dangerously hanging and illegal cables by September 1. The move to resume the campaign comes in the wake of the alleged non-compliance with that undertaking. The civic body had also come in for repeated flak from the Kerala High Court over the danger posed by such cables in the form of serious accidents, especially involving two-wheeler riders.
Mayor M. Anilkumar said that all low-hanging cables would be cut and accused cable companies of not identifying and removing cables not in use despite repeated reminders. “The number of low-hanging cables has come down considerably. However, there is need for a renewed campaign and monthly review to keep the problem in check. The campaign was suspended by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Corporation following complaints by cable television networks that snapping of cables was affecting their connections,” he said.
Mr. Anilkumar also alleged reluctance on the part of cable companies to adopt modernisation measures by not shifting cables to ducts even in areas covered by Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML).
However, the CSML authorities said all overhead cables had been shifted to ducts along all smart roads including Abraham Madamakkal Road, Shanmugham Road, Park Avenue Road, DH Road, and Banerjee Road.
Sanilmon J., chairman of the Corporation Town Planning Committee, said an ultimatum via media would be issued to cable companies shortly to make amends regarding low-hanging and unused cables after which they will be snapped without further notice.
“Cable companies have been ignoring repeated directions for months. They will have to remove unused cables and draw cables at proper height. Else, all cables hanging below five metres will be cut, and its cost would be recovered from the parties concerned,” he said.
R. Sunilkumar, president, Kerala Cable Television Federation, said the KSEB had already asked cable television operators to draw cables to a height of 5.80 metres. “Most of our members have complied with the directive, and the remaining will follow suit failing which the cables would be cut by the KSEB,” he added.
“Only, KSEB lines should also be drawn at appropriate height for us to maintain our cables at the height of 5.80 metres,” he said.