In addition to the overhanging maze of power lines and cable lines, the city’s skyscape is being increasingly interrupted by a zigzag of telecom wires too. Not willing to lend the subterranean space to the telecom companies for laying of their optical fibre cables, GHMC is asking them to go overhead, resulting in poles and cables coming up at many locations.
The corporation has given permission for close to 50,000 poles to be erected across the city’s six zones by two telecommunication companies.
This, after turning down the requests by the said companies for road-cutting permissions, an official shared. “We are not giving road-cutting permissions for the telecom lines, owing to the pending proposal for laying of utility ducts alongside the roads,” said the official.
The corporation, however, is not withholding permissions for water pipelines and power lines citing the same reason.
“Telecom companies such as Reliance JIO and ACT Fibernet have sought permissions for a total of 1,000 kilometres of road cutting. This amounts to 50% of GHMC’s total road length, and has the potential to disrupt public life. Hence, we have denied permission,” said the official.
Proceedings were issued towards the end of March, allowing installation of more than 31,000 poles by Reliance JIO on a rental charge. The poles will be used by the telecom giant for aerial cabling over five years, the official order said. Officials informed that the company will pay ₹1,000 per year per pole to GHMC, which will amount to over ₹ 3 crore revenue annually. Together with over 15,000 poles to be installed by ACT Fibernet, the annual revenue will rise to almost Rs. 5 crore for the corporation.
Besides, Reliance JIO’s request for extension of its existing 43,700 poles by an year too has been granted. The company will provide free access to the CCTV cameras installed by the Traffic Police across the city, officials informed. There have been instances earlier in Cantonment purview where colony welfare associations have objected to the installation of poles without their permission. They raised objection, as such an attempt earlier had damaged the colony’s drainage pipelines.―The Hindu