The cash-strapped BBMP has managed to get Rs 109 crore from telecommunication service providers after it set up an Optic Fibre Cable (OFC) Committee.
Speaking to Express, BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana said the civic body was earlier getting just `30 crore as revenue from the companies which laid underground OFC.
“These companies had not taken BBMP’s permission and hence the committee was formed to look into alleged violations. After the committee was formed, the Palike signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with these companies on the condition that they will pay the ground rent for laying OFCs,” he said.
“After the MoU was signed, the BBMP’s revenue increased. We managed to collect `109 crore between January and March,” he added.
He maintained that there will not be any harassment from any official as the companies will dig roads legally and lay OFCs.
“There will be complete transparency as according to the MoU the firms, which dig the roads to lay OFCs, will also be responsible for the maintenance of those roads. If a road develops potholes or caves in, the firms have to repair it. These were the conditions that have been laid in agreement,” Lakshminarayana said.
Mayor B S Sathyanarayana said: “Illegal laying of OFCs had deeply entrenched in the IT capital of the country. Hence, the OFC Committee, comprising 10 councillors and a Chief Engineer, was constituted last October. Service providers went against the committee to court. The High Court ruled in favour of the BBMP and directed it to charge ground rent.”
“The committee had fixed `600 per metre as the laying charge. `100 was charged for inspection before and after the work and `150 was charged as a security deposit. With the implementation of the Sakrama rules on OFCs, we have managed to collect over `100 crore in two months and with the inspection and regular monitoring, we hope to generate another `100 crore in the coming months,” he said.