The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Road repair row over tamper tag
- Killer cables buried, agencies refute Reliance dig

The cables are crossed over the killer cable that killed Amit Dalmia on Monday night. If Reliance Infocomm went into overdrive on Thursday to repair metal strips jutting out from city streets — one of which had claimed the 25-year-old’s life — agencies like CESC and the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) “challenged” the company to prove that their digging of the roads had led to the cable lines being damaged.

“Let Reliance officials point out any spot in the city where the cables have been tampered with by CESC, the CMC or Calcutta Telephones and we will take necessary action,’’ challenged CMC director-general (civil) Uday Sengupta.

Amit Khanna, Reliance spokesperson, had claimed from Mumbai on Wednesday that the metal covering of the cables had sprung free of the road surface because of digging carried out by “several agencies” and “lack of maintenance” by the CMC.

A senior Reliance official in Calcutta added on Thursday: “A metal strip has broken free on Camac Street, 300 yards from the accident spot, because the CMC had earlier dug the road around the spot and did not restore it properly. We finally repaired it, although it is not our job.”

According to the Reliance official, the company had already written to the CMC about the condition of the road. But Sengupta denied having received any such letter. “Also, there is a committee that coordinates digging of the city’s roads and so far, I cannot recollect any instance of any other agency damaging Reliance cables,’’ added Sengupta.

Mayor Subrata Mukherjee went a step further, alleging that Reliance metal strips are jutting out from “every part” of the city. “Do they mean to say that the CMC is digging up all these places'’’ he demanded.

Executive director of CESC Dilip Sen also contradicted Reliance Infocomm’s claim and accused the company of damaging several 33-kv CESC cables across the city, resulting in widespread loadshedding in those areas over the past few months.

“We have written several letters to Reliance Infocomm officials, pointing out the damage,’’ Sen added.

Even as Reliance rushed to repair roads, Calcuttans continued to call up newspaper offices to pass on information about other peril points. And Metro on Thursday found exposed metal strips at Hazra Road, near a florist shop, and on Loudon Street, near the Shakespeare Sarani intersection.

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