Chennai: Now, panel to okay telecom infra works, sort out disputes

Express News Service | Published: 29th January 2022 07:16 AM
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CHENNAI: In a bid to facilitate speedy roll-out of telecom infrastructure, the State government has appointed district collectors and Chennai Corporation Commissioner as district nodal officers to issue right of way (RoW) for constructions.

A G.O. issued by IT Secretary Neeraj Mittal, which has given approval to Tamil Nadu Telecom Infrastructure Policy, 2022, has put forth a new policy on RoW — a legal framework for setting up telecom towers, laying fibre cables, settling disputes, and improving coordination among companies.

The policy, which underlines the Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016, notified by the Union government and later amended last year, would provide seamless connectivity to citizens by easing the process of application, approval and installat i o n of telecom infrastructure. While the earlier RoW rules covered only underground Optical Fibre Cable and mobile towers, the new one regulates underground or overground telegraph infrastructure in public or private areas.

Official sources said as per the new policy, the right of way has to be issued within 60 days from the date of application or else would be deemed as approved. The amount is to be paid in a single instalment, and are fixed at Rs 10000 per tower and Rs 1000 per km. The thrust of the policy is to ensure that a good network and connectivity will lead to sustained growth and adoption of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big Data, Internet of Things, and overcome developmental challenges.

The goal of the policy is to streamline the process of applications and granting of permission for installation of mobile towers, laying of Optical Fibre Cable and other infrastructure in a time-bound manner. Meanwhile, in an event of resolution of disputes if any, a District Level Telecom Committee chaired by the district collector or Chennai Corporation Commissioner will be constituted to resolve all issues within 30 days of initial receipt of reference.

The committee shall report the unresolved issues to the State Level Telecom Committee, chaired by the chief secretary. It shall also be responsible to issue advisories and amendments considering changing business scenarios. The policy says the IT Department shall develop an online portal for single window clearance.

The portal must be integrated with payment gateways for collection of fees, as applicable, for all appropriate authorities under its control through Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu within 12 months from the date of release of the policy. According to official sources, old infrastructure can be regularised under the policy.

Inclusions in policy
While the earlier RoW rules covered only underground Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) and mobile towers, the new one regulates underground or overground telegraph infrastructure

Tags : Chennai telecom infrastructure

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