A week to remove defunct cables

The CMC will publish a notice in newspapers asking all operators to remove defunct cables within 7 days

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 1.03.19, 3:18 AM
  • Updated 1.03.19, 3:38 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
A mesh of TV and Internet cables over Camac Street. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Mayor Firhad Hakim has given cable operators and Internet service providers seven days to remove the defunct overhead wires, failing which the civic body will do the job itself.

The mayor issued the ultimatum on removing the unnecessary clutter at a meeting with cable operators at the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) headquarters on Thursday afternoon.

The CMC will publish a notice in newspapers asking all operators to remove defunct cables hanging over all major roads within seven days, a civic official said.

Removing the defunct cables, the official said, is the first step towards shifting all cables underground.

“I have been asking the cable operators since Puja last year to remove the defunct cables but they have not done anything. So, today I gave them an ultimatum. If they don’t remove the cables, we will remove them,” Hakim said after the meeting.

The cable operators and Internet service providers who attended Thursday’s meeting were told that they would have to mark the “live cables” if they failed to remove the defunct ones. “Marking or clubbing the live cables would make it easier for the CMC to identify and remove the defunct ones after the seven-day period ends,” the official said.

Metro had flagged the anarchy of overhead cables on August 31, 2017. Again, in January last year, this newspaper had reported Hakim’s plan to build dedicated conduits by the roadside for cables under the state government’s Green City Mission.

Hakim, who was then urban development minister, had spoken about the plan a few days after a man died in a an accident on No. 4 bridge in Park Circus, resulting from his motorcycle tyres getting entangled in a heap of cables lying beside the road.

On Thursday, mayor Hakim said work to shift the cables underground would start on Alipore Road, Harish Mukherjee Road and Park Street. “We do not want to snap any live cable, be it of television or of Internet,” he said.

Tapas Kumar Das, the president of the Ideal Cable Operators Association who attended the meeting, said it was possible to mark the live cables. “All operators know which are live cables and which are defunct,” Das said.

CMC officials said they had studied the way underground cables had been laid in New Town. “The township has bucket-shaped conduits, inside which there are smaller circular conduits for cables. The diameter of each circular conduit is 6inch. TV and Internet cables pass through two of them, while a few have been left empty for later use,” an CMC official said.