Messy affairs: NMC ‘offering’ duct service to operators sans DoT nod

NMC RTI
Nagpur:
Adding yet another chapter of messy affairs, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has been found offering duct services to operators without the authorized permission from Department of Telecommunication (DoT) for IP-I licence. The fact come to the fore when the Government Member of Nagpur Zilla Grahak Sanrakshan Parishad Shahid Sharif posed an RTI query to NMC. In the RTI reply, Sharif found irregularities and corrupt practices in the NMC policy on duct services in ‘4 ducts’ without any charges.

According to Sharif, the duct installation carried out by Reliance, Vodafone, Tatacom, and Tata Teli Work has been found riddled with irregularities and corruption. Following are the disturbing points that got revealed in the RTI reply.

  1. According to DoT rules and regulations, IP-I license is must for service operators. But the NMC says that it has nothing to do with the matter.
  2. The service operators are well aware of the fact that without IP-I license, doing any DoT related work is illegal. Still the aforesaid companies are carrying out duct installation regularly.
  3. There is no mention in NMC rules that the ‘4 duct’ service operators have to be in free category. On the contrary, the service operators sidelined the rules and put the NMC in ‘4 duct.’
  4. As per agreements, the operator companies had to procure different NOCs. But when Traffic Department was asked to reply on the issue, the department came out with no granting of permission to road cutting.
  5. According to rules, an agreement has to be done prior to duct installation work. But Reliance Jio was issued work order on October 22, 2014 sans an agreement. However, when the kid girl Pinky died in a tragic incident, the agreement was signed between NMC and Reliance Jio on April 15, 2015.
  6. In the work order of Reliance Jio dated January 30, 2016, two different conditions were noticed in cable lines. In the first condition, 90-day time limit was mentioned while in the second condition, 120-day time limit was underlined.
  7. NMC has no list of vendors of service operators. On the contrary, providing of list is mandatory in accordance with the agreement.
  8. The RCC work in entire city is riddled with holes during restoration.
  9. The ducts in Nagpur City are underground. Nobody knows where they are and on whose lands. The Hot Mix Department authorities, who are responsible, evading the replies.

According to Sharif, NMC has violated the duct policy. At the same time, the local body has provided an opportunity to service operator companies to break the rules. He has demanded an independent enquiry into the entire episode and hinted that he will soon meet DoT officials in this connection.

NMC earns over Rs 2.60 crore from duct installation by various cos:
Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has earned revenue of over Rs 2.60 crore on account of duct installation by different companies till to date. The break-up of the revenue earned is from M/s Reliance Rs 2,45,34,340, M/s Vodafone Rs 9,21,500, Tatacom Rs 9,68,500 and Tata Teli Work Rs 3,31,500.
The information was revealed by NMC while replying to the RTI query posed by Mohd Shahid Sharif of Anti Adultration NGO based in Sitabuldi.

In the event of untoward incident, the company responsible has to pay compensation to the civtim citizen. The NMC has also provided the details of duct installation policy and copy of an agreement with Reliance and the list of vendors.

– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( rajeev.nagpurtoday@gmail.com )

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