Taking overhead cables underground

14 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

A few months ago, two city corporations of the capital started removing overhead internet, telephone and cable TV networks wires entangled in a hazardous way posing a threat to the city residents with a view to giving the capital a fresh look. But their activities have been halted by the protest of the services provides, who reinstalled the cables within a few hours of their removal warning that without any viable alternative such removal drives would leave no other options for them but to stop providing services. Since then, any visible steps to take these cables underground has been stopped. The concerned authorities extended the deadline for shifting these cables underground and the last one finished in December, but service providers have paid little heed to the time frame. During this time blame game is going on between the service providers and concerned authorities, which is nothing but dilly-dallying.

However, both of them said a long-term plan is needed to solve the problem. But it was 2009 when the decision to remove cables from electric poles was taken to free the city from the trouble. Several meetings were held with all stakeholders during that time, but it yielded no result though a decade passed away. Now a question comes consequently that how more time they need to take these cables underground?

It is learnt that Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) operators, who were issued the license to develop facilities to lay cables underground, did not invest enough as it was not guaranteed to be used after placing it under the ground. On the other hand, the internet and dish service providers have been delaying taking cables underground as it would add additional monthly costs instead of present free-of-cost supply systems. These two factors are actually hindering the progress of the decision.

We have an example that a city can be free from overhead cables if we have commitment and collaboration. Thus the concerned authorities should have a commitment to shift these cables underground and act promptly to compel the stakeholders to follow the instructions as stakeholders who give priority to make a profit only would not do it willingly. Ten years is enough time we should not wait for more.