BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is taking up a special drive from June 1 to remove unauthorised Optical Fibre Cables (OFCs) in the city. The move is likely to hit many IT and telecom companies.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, BJP councillor N R Ramesh, who is also a member of the BBMP OFC Committee, said since February 2014, 10 telecom service providers have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the BBMP. Of the 20 non-telecom service providers, nine have signed MoUs and the remaining will sign the memorandums by May 30.
Ramesh explained that these companies have to pay `850 per metre per year over 15 years and renew the agreement every 15 years. However, companies which have entered into MoUs have not declared the exact length of OFCs they have laid.
As per the agreement, the BBMP can either collect double the amount as penalty from them for illegal cables or disconnect the cables. “From June 1, we are conducting a special drive where senior officials from these service providers, BBMP officials and Committee members will be present. To begin with, we will start our drive from Bommanahalli and Mahadevapura zones where there are more IT companies. As per our estimate, illegal cables running over 50,000 km have been laid across the city,” he said. Ramesh said the BBMP collected `179 crore in February and March from service providers who had applied for sanction to lay fresh OFC ducts running 1,129 km in length. “We are expecting to collect `600 crore from OFCs yearly,” he added.
In September 2013, a 10-member BBMP committee was formed to look into unauthorised OFCs and was told to submit a report within two months. After two months, the committee submitted an interim report. The final report is expected to be presented in July.
Former Deputy Mayor S Harish, who is also a member, said when these companies seek permission from BBMP to lay cables, they have to pay a security deposit. “As per the agreement, the companies that dig roads to lay cables have to restore the roads. We have authorised the Civil Aid and Association of Engineers Syndicate to certify whether the restoration quality is up to the mark. If the service providers submit the certificate from one of these authorised organisations, the deposit will be returned,” he said.
Other members of the committee, Latha Narasimhamurthy, CK Ramamurthy, R S Sathyanarayana, Murgesh Mudaliar were also present.
Encroachments on 32 Lakes to Go
BANGALORE: From next Monday, BBMP officials will begin removing encroachments from 32 lake beds in the city.
At a meeting on storm water drains on Monday, chaired by the Mayor and the BBMP Commissioner, MLA Vijay Kumar brought up the issue of encroachments on storm water drains.
He blamed engineers for delaying action against encroachers.
Deputy Commissioner G C Prakash noted that a survey had been taken up by the Revenue Department and the BBMP with regard to encroachments on lakes.
Referring to the survey, Mayor B S Sathyanarayana said chief engineers of the concerned department will sit with officials to chalk out an action plan on evicting encroachments from lakes and storm water drains.
Officials said tenders had already been called to remove encroachments from the 32 spots.