Kathmandu, November 14
With an aim to manage the overhead cables that have been hanging perilously from the electricity poles installed by Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the government has awarded the tender to manage and lay underground cables in Kathmandu Valley as a pilot project to Nepal Telecom (NT).
Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) on Wednesday awarded the tender to Nepal Telecom to manage the overhead telecom cables and cables installed by television and internet service providers.
Purushottam Khanal, chairman of NTA, informed that the NTA board had decided to award the tender to NT. Earlier, the Cabinet had approved the guidelines to lay underground cables, which NTA had forwarded to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. KPMG India had studied and suggested the necessary measurements to lay the cables underground. As per the study conducted by KPMG India, 15 areas have been identified where cables need to be laid underground immediately.
“After NT prepares the necessary infrastructure, works related to laying cables underground will start,” said Khanal, adding that it has become necessary to lay cables underground to better manage them and also to make the city more beautiful. “The haphazard way in which cables have been installed have become an eye-sore.”
As per NTA, it has prepared a masterplan to manage cables along the highways, urban roads and alleyways and also within households.
As per KPMG’s suggestion, the government also needs to change the existing building code. As there has been rapid urbanisation, houses and apartments need to be constructed in a way that they are broadband-friendly.
“The project is being taken as a pilot scheme in the first phase, but we will gradually expand it across the country and will formulate necessary laws for the purpose,” Khanal said, adding that the building code will have provisions for telecom, television and internet cables, which are similar to electricity and drinking water guidelines.
In the pilot project, NT will manage an area along 70 kilometres in Kathmandu Valley. Earlier, Nepal Electricity Authority had also started to lay underground electricity cables in areas covered by its Ratnapark and Maharajgunj distribution centres as a pilot project.
A version of this article appears in print on November 15, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.