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Cables through tunnels or above trays: Kolkata Municipal Corporation board mulls new law

Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will propose a new law that will make it mandatory for those in cable TV and Internet business to take their cables through tunnels or above trays, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Tuesday.

The proposed law, he said, will not allow cables to be hung anywhere above a road.

“A very important issue of our city is the overhead cable. The entire city has been covered by cables,” he said.

“Our board wants to bring a law that will make it mandatory for those in the business to take their cables through tunnels or above trays,” said Hakim, while announcing some of the focus areas of the new KMC board.

“We have already done such a thing on Harish Mukherjee Road in south Kolkata.” A cable TV operator said their business is regulated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the ministry of information and broadcasting.

“TRAI or the ministry is mostly concerned about technical issues and customers’ rights. How to take cables is not laid down in their rules or guidelines,” said Tapash Das, a joint secretary of the All Bengal Cable Operators United Forum.

Many of the hanging cables are defunct and have been there for many years.

The KMC recently took up a pilot project to take underground all overhead wires, except electricity cables, on Harish Mukherjee Road in Bhowanipore. The KMC has built underground tunnels for the cables. Pits have been built at regular intervals for repairs.

Officials of the KMC said the civic body would have to propose the law the mayor talked about and send it to the municipal affairs department. If the department accepts the proposal, it will have to get it passed by the Assembly.

Recently, the cable operators have started removing defunct cables along many arterial roads and tying up the remaining ones. Telegraph India

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