OFC operators to pay Rs 1.3L as road restoration fee

OFC operators to pay Rs 1.3L as road restoration fee

Representative Image

Companies laying underground Optical Fibre Cables (OFCs) may not be able to leave the roads messy anymore, with the BBMP deciding to slap a hefty fee.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike will now collect Rs 1,30,000 when the companies apply for permission to lay the OFCs.

While revising the rules for laying cables recently, the civic body has stipulated that the companies could lay cables at a stretch for only two kilometres and has set 60 days as the timeframe for a single approval. Permission would lapse if the company fails to lay the cables within the set time period.

Earlier, the Palike had allowed companies to lay cables for six kilometres at a stretch. While banning the overhead OFCs, it made GPS details mandatory for the cables laid underground.

The civic body has fixed Rs 1.3 lakh as road restoration fees to make the companies more accountable. Earlier, it had trouble tracking down companies when they dug up the roads for laying cables and disappeared without fully restoring them.

OFC operators unhappy

The hefty fee has left the OFC operators unhappy. A BBMP official said the companies are thinking about approaching the court to challenge the rule. They feel the current restoration fee is steeper than the Rs 52,000 charged to fix the potholes.

BBMP commissioner B H Anil Kumar, however, has defended the fee. "The amount has been fixed to maintain the condition of the road and ensure high quality standards while restoring them," Kumar said. "The pothole fee is less because we can’t quantify them in kilometres and they exist at a few places."