The BBMP is treating all over-the-ground cables as unauthorized, though the industry had obtained permissions and had originally laid them underground, they claimed. The service providers were constrained to draw cables overhead with permission from the Palike as and when they were unintentionally cut or removed during civil works carried out by BBMP, Bescom and BWSSB, they maintained.
Rajan S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operation Association India (COAI), said: “The industry has sought an early appointment with the authorities to discuss and arrive at a mutually agreeable solution and ask for stoppage of any form of coercive measures to force a solution.”
TR Dua, director general, Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association, said: “Before taking any suo-motu coercive action, BBMP should have called industry for a bilateral discussion to resolve the issue.” More than 1,30,200 base transceiver stations (BTSs) have been installed in Karnataka to support telephone, mobile and internet communication which generates approximately Rs 6,000 crore revenue annually in the state alone.
Officials said they had already informed firms about the drive. “We’re removing only unauthorised fibres in east Bengaluru and Mahadevpura zones,” said MR Venkatesh, engineer in chief.