BSNL trips over PWD roadblock! | india | Hindustan Times
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BSNL trips over PWD roadblock!

THE PWD stubbornness not to allow the BSNL to dig the roads to repair faulty cables and lay the new ones is hampering computerization and web-linking programme of many Government departments.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 00:19 IST

THE PWD stubbornness not to allow the BSNL to dig the roads to repair faulty cables and lay the new ones is hampering  computerization and web-linking programme of many Government departments.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC), a Government of India agency, which is at the disposal of the State Government implementing all the IT projects in the State deposited Rs 50 lakh with the BSNL for around 6-7 months ago. The BSNL was supposed to lay an Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) from Jawahar Bhawan to Bapu Bhawan and from there to Yojna Bhawan where the NIC has the main server.

The laying of cable will web-link dozens of the Government departments in Jawahar Bhawan and Bapu Bhawan with the NIC’s server in Yojna Bhawan.

However, the BSNL is not able to lay the cable just because the PWD is not permitting the BSNL to dig.

On the intervention of the Principal Secretary (IT) Zohara Chaterji, Chief Secretary, NC Bajpayee has now asked the PWD to sort out the matter within a week. More than half the week has already gone but nothing has happened.

Sources said it was only because of a powerful IAS officer posted in the PWD that the BSNL was not getting the permission for road digging. “The officer is not listening to anyone. He says that he cannot see PWD roads being dug up,” said a BSNL official. Not wondering, this IAS officer even got an FIR lodged against four linemen who were digging the road to repair a cable damaged the Jal Nigam supply line in Dalibagh a few months ago. He did not relent despite all the top BSNL officers tried their level best to convince him about linemen’s innocence.

Now, there are hundreds of telephones that have been dead for weeks in areas like Dalibagh, Ranapratap Marg, Vikrama Ditya Marg, Sikandarbagh as the BSNL is unable to repair them for lack of PWD’s permission to dig up the roads. Though most of the VIP phones have been made functional by diverting the traffic from other routes, the phones belonging to the common subscribers continue to be dead. According to a BSNL official, a High Court judge’s phone was repaired only after he talked to the IAS officer in PWD to help the BSNL get permission for digging the road!          

BSNL chief general manager, UP (East) circle, Surinder Singh even tried to have an appointment with the IAS officer to sort out the matter but he failed. He tried to meet the chief secretary and he succeeded. The CS told Singh that he would arrange a meeting between him and the IAS officer in the PWD. However, that has not been possible even 20 days after the CS’ assurance. So, the common subscribers will continue to wait for a bell to ring on their dead telephones till the IAS officer relents.

When contacted, PWD engineer-in chief VP Tripathi said he was not aware of the department preventing the BSNL from digging roads for repairing the underground cables.