Contractors use SWDs to lay BSNL cables in Chennai, poor supervision exposed

It is common for stormwater drains (SWDs) in Tamil Nadu to be often illegally connected to sewer lines. Now, service providers have also started exploring the drains for their benefit. After the recent rains and flooding of the city, it came to light that a section of contractors had converted SWDs between Perambur to Harbour into a duct to carry BSNL optical fibre cables.
Representative image
Representative image


When the Chennai Corporation staff broke open clogged drains, optical fibre cables were snapped on a few stretches, creating hardship for BSNL staff to ensure landline and internet connectivity.
“Urban planning is something that is taken for granted and both the State and Central government departments fail to monitor the system. The Corporation was not aware that their SWDs were used for other purposes and the BSNL field officials failed to supervise the cable laying project when it was implemented four years ago,” former telecom advisory member V Sathiabalan told DT Next.
The BSNL should take action against the errant BSNL staff and the contractor for executing haphazard work, Sathiabalan added. There is a provision to use horizontal drilling, which is safe for cables, but the contractors would have used the free drain space to spare some change, Sathiabalan explained.
When contacted, a senior BSNL official said the issue has been brought to his office. We are inquiring and based on the findings necessary action will be taken. Alternate arrangements to carry the cable lines will also be explored, the official added.

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