CHENNAI : Barely two weeks after the Corporation said anyone who put cables or decorations on trees would be booked and had given 10 days to remove the existing ones, the violators care a hoot. Not only cables, but even CCTV camares are being mounted on trees. It is not only the residents, but traffic police are also violating the order, as was seen on Cemetery Road in Royapuram. In Tondiarpet’s Elayamudali Street, Washermenpet’s TK Garden and in Thiruvottriyur High Road itself, many residents have put up CCTVs on trees facing their house.
In the case of optical fibre cables (OFCs), as per officials records, the Corporation has given nod for about 5,400 km cable length in the city. However, the city as of now has 4,000 km length of illegal cables. These illegal cables not only damage trees, but ones dangling loose pose a risk to commuters.
Though OFCs being tied to trees are common across the city, the worst can be found in the narrow lanes of North Chennai. In Parrys near Buddha Chetti Street, Lingu Chetty Street and Thambu Chetty street, these cables along with electric wires run on the open. P Thanigaivel, an SBI employee with the Beach Station branch, was a victim when a wire snapped and hung in front of him when he left for home. ‘‘I narrowly escaped from touching the wire but I do not know the consequences if I had touched it,’’ he said.
Apart from causing threat to life, these cables also deface public places. To curb the cable menace, the corporation recently increased the fee per km from `43,100 to 47,200. However, it has not had too much of an impact. When contacted, a Corporation official with Works Department said the civic body has started doing extensive field supervision to pull down illegal cables/devices put up on trees.
‘‘There is routine maintenance and we also attend to complaints. The corporation will not just remove the cables but will impose hefty fines,’’ said the official.However, when Express visited some zonal offices, there was no data available on cases booked against violators nor how much fines were imposed over the years. Meanwhile, officials said cables that run up to 400 km long were cut over the years.