Illegal laying of OFCs to attract Rs 25-lakh fine

Illegal laying of OFCs to attract Rs 25-lakh fine

Conceding that a majority of the optical fibre cables (OFC) laid in Bengaluru city were illegal, Bengaluru Development Minister G Parameshwara said that the government would start imposing heavy penalties on those laying cables or digging roads without permission.

Replying to P R Ramesh (Cong) in the Legislative Council on illegal OFCs causing accidents and deaths, Parameshwara said that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) would impose a fine of Rs 25 lakh on government agencies/companies for drawing cables without permission.

Likewise, a fine of Rs 10 lakh will be imposed on the public for digging roads.

Parameshwara said that the BBMP had given permission to lay cables along 8,860 km, through which it had collected a fee of Rs 620 crore.Permissions have been given to 11 telecom service providers, two non-telecom service providers and seven internet service providers to lay cables, he said.

Parameshwara also rued that even TenderSURE roads were not an exception to the cable menace. “The OFC menace is quite rampant. Cables are seen dangling across the city. Ironically, cables are found jutting out even from completed TenderSURE roads. Measures will be taken to remove these cables and penalise those who are found damaging the roads,” he added.

When T A Sharavana (JD-S) demanded that erring companies/agencies be blacklisted, Parameshwara said, “Contractors of agencies/companies who have sought permission can be held accountable. However, it is difficult to fix accountability on unauthorised contractors,” he added.

Earlier, Ramesh said that the protruding cables had led to many accidents, and in some instances even deaths. Citing the example of a 24-year-old girl who met with an accident in Horamavu recently, Ramesh said that the victim was now in a vegetative state.

The MLC sought a higher compensation for the accident victim, as her father was deceased, while her mother was earning a living as a domestic help.

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