The BSNL administration has complained to the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations that both civic bodies are charging higher road digging rates from the company as compared to the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB). The company lodged a complaint saying that Rs 4,500 per metre charges were much higher than Rs 1,500 that MSEB is paying.
We approached the Bombay High Court which passed an order in our favour. We have now filed a contempt plea with the court against the violation of the order. The order has upheld our view that the rates charged were high, said General Manager BSNL,Finance,Yashwant Singh.
Officials said the matter is pending with the corporations for the past one year and there have been repeated communications over the issue before going to the court. Ashish Pathak,additional general manager,BSNL,said the company is paying through the nose. The BSNL also took up the matter in the telecom advisory committee (TAC) meetings earlier,apprising the members,including MP,Gajanan Babar,about the issue. The September 2011 meeting noted that the road digging charges were same for the minor repair works such as fixing the faults in the cable.
However both PMC and PCMC officials defended the move. Ashish Sharma,PCMC Commissioner,said the rates for BSNL were same as that for the other telecom companies. I dont know why BSNL is complaining, he said.
Sharma,however,said the the PCMC charges less money from MSEB because the company has taken loans to improve the power infrastructure in the PCMC area. The concessions are because of the investments which the MSEB is making in the area. If we charge them more they will pass on the higher rates to the consumers, he said.
PMC additional city engineer,Pramod Nirbhavane,said he was only obeying the orders of the standing committee. The resolution on rates has been passed by the panel, he said.