8,300 km of illegal OFCs removed in city

8,300 km of illegal OFCs removed in city

The city has 21 service providers, including those offering telecom services, but the problem seems to be the length of the cables. (DH graphic/Ramu M)

Claiming nearly 80% of the optical fibre cables (OFCs) in the city are unauthorised, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike officials have begun a drive to dismantle them.

They began the removal drive following orders of Deputy Chief Minister and Bangalore Development Minister G Parameshwara earlier this month. The city has 21 service providers, including those offering telecom services, but the problem seems to be the length of the cables.

The BBMP has cleared cables for 8,300 kilometres, the civic body’s chief engineer-in-charge of OFCs MR Venkatesh said. The length is stipulated despite 14,000-kilometre road length and 93,000 roads in the stretch.

Most commercial establishments and consumers are located in East Bangalore consisting of Indiranagar, MG Road, Church Street and Bommanahalli, besides Mahadevapura zone.

Some consumers faced network and data outage for a few days in these areas. BBMP officials are notifying service providers to regularise the cables. Their failure to do within the stipulated time is likely to put consumers in further trouble.

“We are holding a month-long drive and want to complete the process of removing unauthorised cables,” said a senior official.  

The BBMP is staring at an Rs 200 crore loss income for allowing the OFCs, noted
M K Gunashekar, former chairman of BBMP Tax and Finance standing committee. “The civic body has a solution through TenderSURE roads to have the cables inside the ducts to ensure the city’s image isn’t damaged,” he said.

BBMP opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy highlighted two important considerations in removing the cables:

“It’s important to remove the unauthorised OFCs since BBMP is losing revenue, but consumers are also put into trouble for its failure to curb these service providers to lay the cables. This is the administration’s failure,” Reddy said.

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