BMC Imposes Penalty, Requests FIR on Telecom Operator For Illegal Digging in Byculla

BMC Imposes Penalty, Requests FIR on Telecom Operator For Illegal Digging in Byculla

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has imposed a fine of ₹2.2 lakh on a private telecom operator for undertaking illegal digging and trenching at a recently laid road in the city’s Byculla region. It is said that the BMC has also filed a police complaint against the alleged violator, Reliance Jio Infocomm. 

The complaint filed by the civic body’s e-ward requests Nagpada Police to file an FIR and book the company for damaging public property. The illegal digging was spotted by an official from the BMC’s maintenance department during an inspection at Sankli Street (Shaikh Hafizuddin Marg). 

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The penalty of Rs 2.2 lakh was levied by the BMC for damaging portions of the road as well as the pavement. The civic body went on to say that the penalty will be deducted from the operator’s standing deposit. Workers representing Jio were reportedly carrying out repairs of the optical fibre cable in the region. 

“On inspection on 08.02.2021 of Sankhli Street near Fanuswala Building, we found that Ms Reliance Jio was carrying out trenching work without any permission from the BMC and was laying cables. After the site inspection, the work of unauthorised trenching was topped. This trenching work has caused a revenue loss of Rs 2,02,690 to the BMC. This is a violation of the MMC Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984. So an offence must be registered against the officials of Ms Reliance Jio Infocomm,” the civic body’s complaint read.

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Bhiwandi MLA and local corporator, Rais Shaikh said that the road may collapse due to the illegal digging carried out in the region. “The BMC must blacklist the trenching agencies who damage newly laid roads. This road was still under the warranty period and because of the illegal digging its warranty will lapse. The BMC must geotag all the trenching work and install CCTV cameras at such locations that are prone to digging work by various utility companies,” he said.

Meanwhile, residents in the region have long complained about private agencies carrying out digging works without prior permissions, while also damaging some utility pipelines as well as stormwater drains.  

The BMC’s 2016 policy on digging/trenching says that any road that has been relaid or constructed over the last 12 months is considered a new road. However, it’s clear that some private agencies continue to violate these norms while conducting digging works on public roads.

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