BBMP gets cracking on illegal OFCs, forms panel to check them

BBMP gets cracking on illegal OFCs, forms panel to check them

It may suggest separate ducts for laying all sorts of cables

BBMP gets cracking on illegal OFCs, forms panel to check them

Corporators have finally managed to prod the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) into forming a committee to check the illegally laid Optical Fibre Cables (OFCs) in the City and fix the ground rent.

After great hue and cry by corporators about the loss of rent and road-cutting charges to the Palike exchequer from OFCs laid illegally by the telecom companies, the BBMP formed the 10-member committee. Yediyur corporator, N R Ramesh, who will head the panel, said the telecom companies had “seriously damaged” the City’s roads.

Eight more corporators would be part of the committee.

They are: former deputy mayor S Harish (Nagapura), C K Ramamurthy (Pattabhiramanagar), Latha Narasimha Murthy (HSR Layout), N G Krishna Reddy (VV Puram), ruling party leader in the BBMP, N Nagaraj, R S Sathyanarayana (Dattatreya Temple), Murugesh Mudaliar (Adugodi) and K Prakash (Vidyaranyapura). BBMP Chief Engineer (Vigilance and PPED), S Prabhakar, will also be on board.

The committee will identify the total length of OFCs laid in an unauthorised manner, apart from fixing the ground rent. It will also suggest laying separate duct where all utilities, including OFCs, cable television wires, electrical cables and other wires, would pass through. These ducts will also help in laying similar cables and wires in the future. “The lack of a permanent infrastructure such as a duct had given free reign to telecom companies to seriously damage the City’s roads. After these facilities are created, no telecom firms can damage our roads,” Ramesh said.

In addition, the committee will identify the badly designed existing OFC chambers which invite accidents. It will also recommend removal of illegally laid OFCs.

Breathing cables

The biggest challenge before the committee, however, will be to identify the Direct Breathing Cables (DBCs), which are laid in a concealed manner.

Ramesh said the DBC technology was banned across the world but was used by telecom firms in the City to lay cables surreptitiously.

The technology had been used by some Asian countries in their covert nuclear reactors in order to escape from the US satellites, he revealed. The DBC technology causes maximum damage to roads by digging them an inch wide and two feet deep.

The machine used for this purpose can dig trenches that are several kilometres long in just an hour. While digging, it cuts many utilities too.

“It will be very difficult to detect the DBCs,” Ramesh went on. “We have spotted many such DBCs in the City, which is illegal.”

Not a paisa earned

It may be recalled that the BBMP has been projecting a revenue of Rs 700-800 crore from the OFCs but has not got a single rupee.

Following prodding by the corporators, it drafted a policy and sent it to the State government for approval, which had not been received yet, Palike sources said.

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