Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s officials will meet service providers who have their cables running overhead along Harish Mukherjee Road in south Kolkata within three-four working days to fix a plan on how to put overhead cables into underground ducts there.
The civic body wanted a meeting on Wednesday but the service providers sought some time as they would need to inform all stakeholders that include multi-system operators, internet service providers and cable operators.
The commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Wednesday sought a report from the lighting department of the civic body on why the overhead cables on Harish Mukherjee Road have not been taken underground yet.
The Telegraph had reported on Wednesday that underground ducts built for overhead cables along Harish Mukherjee Road were lying unused for over two months.
“The commissioner wanted to know why the cables have still not been taken underground,” said an official of the KMC. “We will meet the service providers within three to four working days. The service providers wanted some time to ensure maximum possible representation in the meeting.”
Two departments of the KMC are involved in the project to take the overhead cables underground. While the civil engineering department was responsible for building the underground ducts, the onus is on the lighting department to ensure that the service providers remove the overhead cables and put them inside the ducts built for them.
Tapash Das, a joint secretary of the All Bengal Cable Operators United Forum, said on Wednesday evening that the Forum would call its members at the meeting, which was most likely to be held at the Jai Hind Bhavan on Harish Mukherjee Road.
“We would have done the work earlier but there is a technical issue with the ducts that have been built,” Das said.
While the ducts will go underground along Harish Mukherjee Road, the cables have to be taken overhead again to provide connections to individual houses or on roads off Harish Mukherjee Road. “How and where the cables will be taken overhead. Will the KMC allow us to use their poles on roads where the cables will still run overhead? These issues were not discussed,” he said.
Across Kolkata, cables of various service providers hang overhead, posing a threat to the safety of pedestrians and motorists and also turning the city ugly.
The KMC undertook a pilot project at Harish Mukherjee Road to take the overhead cables underground.
A meeting was held at Nabanna in the presence of the chief secretary a few months back where the cable operators, internet service providers and multi system operators were asked to remove defunct cables from across the city.