Tangles of Internet and television cables hanging overhead on many footpaths in the capital have not been removed yet, leaving the pedestrians to face hazards and exposed to fatal accidents.
Pedestrians in different city parts have alleged negligence of the authorities concerned while the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission authorities have claimed that they launch regular drives in this regard.
Sanjida Ria, a resident of Dhanmondi, told New Age they cannot walk along the footpath and even roadside due to these overhead cables.
She has said it is not only hampering pedestrians’ movement but also destroying the beauty of the city.
Rahat Mir, a shopkeeper at Bangla Motors, has said that the footpath and roadside spots simply turns into jungle because of the cables and sometimes it creates severe problem for people who use footbridge.
‘It is not only risky for kids and elderly people, it is quite impossible to move as most of the overhead cables are hanging very close to pedestrians,’ he alleged.
During a visit, the same situation was seen in many areas including Badda, Maniknagar, Moghbazar, Mouchak, Farmgate, Dhanmondi, Mohakhali, Banani and Motijheel.
BTRC assistant director, seeking anonymity, told New Age that there were hundreds of cable TV operators and nearly 100 ISPs in the city.
He said that more than 10 lakh internet users and 3.5 lakh television viewers are connected through overhead cables with their networks.
BTRC official said that in 2009, two private bodies, Fibre At Home and Summit Communications were awarded Nationwide Telecommunications Transmission Network licences to build, operate and maintain such networks.
By this time, the two entities laid about 800km of underground duct in the capital and 3,500km across the country and recently they got 4,000km fibre optical line on lease from the government, he said.
Later in 2010, the authorities requested the Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh and the Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh to remove their cables but some of them did not remove them within the deadline.
However, Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh president Akhtaruzzaman Manju blamed television cable operators of the capital for the existing overhead cables.
He suggested joint initiative of BTRC, Dhaka South City Corporation, Dhaka North City Corporation, and Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited in this regard.
Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh former president HM Anwar Parvez also told New Age that they did not own these overhead cables.
Most of the overhead cables are installed by internet service providers and telephone cables operators, he said.
Anwar said in December 2010 the government forced them to remove overhead cables from different parts of the capital and put them underground which hampers their service to the consumers.
Asked about the hanging cables, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission assistant director (media and publications) Zakir Hossain Khan told New Age that the BTRC launch regular drives to remove the cables.
Zakir said when they get any complain from any area they immediately take measure to remove the overhead cables.
Courtesy of New Age