In the last four days, officials confiscated over 20,000 meters of overhead cables from JM Road and Senapati Bapat Road.
“Any telecom or other company can’t use electric poles for installing cables. We found over 10 different types of cables were installed between every two poles. Besides, the cables are installed in such a dangerous way that it could lead to untoward incidents during the rainy season. We have been receiving several complaints from the residents,” Madhav Jagtap, head of the anti-encroachment department, said.
BJP’s Ravindara Salegonkar accused the telecom companies are using civic property without paying taxes or charges. “They had not taken any permission for installing or rectifying cables. Several junior engineers of the PMC gave permission by taking bribes.
I have been pursuing this issue for the last one year. We have been sending written complaints, by specifying location where the problem persists. Finally the PMC has decided to remove the overhead cables, but they should make sure that these types of incidents don’t happen again,” he said.
Though the amount is yet to be decided, Jagtap said the companies to which the cables belong would be fined. “No company has approached us for the overhead cables till date, so we don’t know which all companies are involved. Our top official will take the decision whether cables should returned or not after collecting the fine,” he said.
A senior PMC official said the menace of overhead cables was rampant due to absence of a strong policy. “Apart from fines, we are going to frame a policy after discussing the issue with the municipal commissioner. Monetary penalty will indirectly give them the licence to reinstall cables. There should be a concrete solution and rule to end this menace,” the officials said.
PMC Deputy Commissioner Vijay Dahibhate said, “As per 15 ward offices, we have appointed 15 specialised squads to identify and remove overhead cables. Next areas on the list are Sahakar Nagar and Ghole Road.”