Nagpur: The slipshod affairs being run in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and the mess the mobile tower companies have created in city were exposed by Congress Corporator Abha Pande in the General Body Meeting of the local body in strong words.
Abha Pande took the NMC head on for its failure to monitor erection of mobile towers and laying cable duct in the city and letting the violators of norms scot-free. “The mobile companies have gone on looting spree,” charged the Corporator. Abha Pande alleged that Reliance Jio Company laid cable line by digging roads at various parts of the city without any permission of the competent authority. The company did not obtain permission of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for laying cable lines.
The permission of Air Traffic Control, Traffic Police Department, Health and Safety Department was also not obtained by the company. Despite this flagrant violation, the NMC had granted permission to the company without certifying the documents. She alleged that local body inked an agreement with company for next 30 years and 20 years for Indus Company without any permission of the general body. The local body did not impose property tax on these towers and mobile towers. “Had the citizens defaulted in paying the Property Tax the NMC would have recovered the tax with 2 percent penalty,” said Abha Pande with anger writ large on her face.
“The company laid cable on streets without taking permission of the NMC. The NMC is misleading the general body by stating that the city has only 425 mobile towers while there are 480 mobile towers in city of which 55 are illegal. She has demanded that NMC should impose 10 times fine on Reliance Jio for digging pits on city roads without obtaining permission. The NMC should remove all the cables from street poles and initiate stern action against the company for erecting towers illegally.
According to sources, the Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, outraged by the mess created by Reliance Jio, has reportedly directed the concerned officials to forfeit the bank guarantee of the company amounting to Rs 21 crore. The main culprit in this sordid affair is chief of NMC’s Electrical Department Sanjay Jaiswal for misleading the Administration. Jaiswal has allegedly reasoned out that since the traffic islands are property of NMC there is no need for police permission, said sources.
Sources further said the rattled Reliance Company has reportedly sought intervention of Chief Minister and tried to put the matter in cold storage.
Executive Engineer Mahesh Gupta also replied to questions raised by Pande.