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NMC sits pretty as telco lays cables on road, footpath

In violation of norms, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) has laid optical fibre cables on surface layer of cement concrete road, footpaths, compound walls and trees at Ajni, posing threat to citizens and cattle. The engineers of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) have inspected the spots but avoided taking any action or imposing any penalty for this particular violation.

After a complaint from a local resident, reporters visited the spot to find two chambers of RJIL open on the shoulder of cement concrete road on busy road connecting Ajni Square to Ajni railway station, posing a threat to people and cattle.

As per norms of NMC and also the state government, optical fibre cable has to be laid underneath the road. New guidelines of the civic body make it mandatory to lay optical fibre cable using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology.

Still, two optical fibre cables of RJIL have been laid on surface layer of the cement concrete road and footpath from one chamber to other. Cables were also laid on compound wall of Central Jail colony. Trees are also no exemption, with cables also laid on a string of trees between these two chambers.

Bundles of optical fibre cables can also be seen abandoned on the footpath. The covers on the manholes on the footpath have also been removed.

All together, the shoulder of the cement concrete road and footpath on a stretch of around 120-150 meter has been turned into a danger spot. It is useless for people, cyclists, motorcyclists and four-wheelers.

RJIL spokespersons did not convey a statement of the company despite calls and messages.

On December 28, 2021, it was reported RJIL dug trenches on the tar road at Sahakar Nagar for laying optical fibre cable despite the civic body giving permission to execute the work through HDD technology. Municipal commissioner Radhakrishnan B took serious cognizance of the news report and directed the engineers to inspect and initiate action.

Engineers of the Laxmi Nagar Zone and hotmix department inspected Sahakar Nagar, Jaitala and Ajni, and also levied a penalty of around Rs2.25 crore on RJIL for trenching the road some 10 days ago. But the engineers avoided taking any action or imposing fine for laying cables on surface layer of road, footpath, compound wall and trees. Also, the engineers overlooked necessary measures to avoid inconvenience to the people and traffic. Nagpur News

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