Telecom firms admit to laying 5,000 km of OFCs

Palike finds discrepancies in affidavits; to measure actual length

The stringent posture adopted by the Palike compelled the telecom firms to file affidavits declaring the total length of OFCs laid by them.

However, the authorities are not convinced with the declaration.  According to sources in the Palike, a telecom firm showed the total length of the cable laid between Mekhri Circle and Lottegollanahalli as one kilometre whereas the actual distance is more than four kilometres. Similarly, another telecom firm showed that the total length of OFC between Anil Kumble Circle and Ulsoor is one kilometre, which in fact is about three kilometres.

“There are many discrepancies in the declaration and we have asked them to come up with the correct version. From tomorrow (Tuesday), we will start measuring the length of the OFCs. We will also start an extensive drive to remove all illegal cable lines,” said a senior BBMP officer.

The Palike would levy a penalty equal to three times the road cutting charge to remove illegally drawn cables.

“The BBMP Council had decided to increase the road cutting charges to Rs 300 per metre. The firms should have paid Rs 150 crore for it. But they lied to us and stealthily laid cable. We will charge Rs 900 per metre. This way the companies will have to pay Rs 450 crore,” said a Palike officer.

The stand-off between the telecom firms and the BBMP was going on for the last six months and the Palike had threatened the firms to disconnect all the lines.  OFCs have not only become problematic for the BBMP but also for the BWSSB, as many illegal cables were found inside the sewerage lines, choking the flow of sewage.

Penalty levied

The Palike has levied a penalty of Rs 30 lakh on Reliance Communications for illegally digging 300-metre-long road at Yamalur village under Mahadevapura zone.

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