Reliance Jio slapped with Rs 25 lakh fine for damaging Sarjapura Road

Bengaluru: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has slapped a penalty of Rs 25 lakh on major telecom player Reliance Jio for “damaging the newly laid Sarjapura road”. The telecom player had dug up the road to lay underground optic fiber cable (OFC) without seeking permission from the BBMP, it’s learnt.

The civic body has proposed to blacklist Jio Digital Fibre Pvt Ltd on the charges of repeatedly damaging roads. An FIR has also been filed against Jio’s vendor Saranya Constructions Ltd in the Bellandur Police Station for digging up Sarjapura road.

In its complaint, the BBMP said it had asphalted the six-lane stretch between Iblur junction and Chikkanalli RoB recently. “The vendor Saranya Constructions, hired by Jio, dug up the road at three places without taking permission from the BBMP.”

The final call on blacklisting Reliance Jio will be taken up by BBMP’s special committee on OFC.

It’s not the first time Jio is being slapped with a penalty. In February 2017, the BBMP had asked the telecom player to pay Rs 50 lakh for damaging Bengaluru’s Nandi Durg extension road to lay OFC lines.

In August this year, the BBMP had started cutting down illegal cable lines in several places in the City including Sarjapura Road, Kasavanahalli road and Harlur road. Citizens had complained that overhead cables were causing inconvenience to pedestrian movement.

Soon after, the Cellular Operators Association of India had warned BBMP against such a large scale drive as it would disrupt digital services in the City. “The random cutting of cable lines without any prior intimation is leading to a huge outage and inconvenience to citizens,” the Association had said in a press release.

The Association said the telecom sector generates annual revenue of Rs 10,000 crore only from Karnataka. “There are about 34,700 telecom towers which equal to an investment of Rs 14,500 crore. The BBMP should work with the telecom companies to resolve the issue amicably instead of disrupting the last mile connectivity infrastructure,” the association member had said.