There should be no delay in grant of Right of Way permissions: Secretary (Telecom), Shri K Rajaraman
Secretary (Telecom) directs DoT field units to conduct monthly meetings with Service Providers to review application approval process and pendency
In order to expedite approvals for quick rollout of Broadband across the country, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications, Government of India, convened a meeting with State IT Secretaries and DoT officers from head office and Field Units. The meeting was chaired by Secretary (Telecom), Shri K Rajaraman. Shri Hari Ranjan Rao, Additional Secretary (T), Shri Nizamul Haq, Director General (Telecom) and other senior officers from Department of Telecommunications also attended the same.
During the meeting, Shri K. Rajaraman emphasised that there should be no delay in grant of Right of Way permissions as it can become a major impediment in growth of communication services. He stated that there is a direct correlation between low Broadband penetration and non alignment of ROW rules in the same State/LSA. The problem could be exacerbated in light of planned 5G rollout in near future.
Shri Rajaraman directed all DoT field units to conduct monthly meetings with Service Providers to review application approval process and pendency and also pursue with the State/Municipal authorities. Secretaries and Heads of Department of State Governments were also requested to facilitate speedy disposal of RoW applications in their respective States. State Broadband Committees were also requested for their intervention for alignment of the state policy with Central RoW Rule-2016.
Department of Telecom has taken various initiatives for ease of doing business and to increase the penetration of Broadband Internet to ease the lives of citizens by coming out with new policies like National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) and implementation of the National Broadband Mission which is expected to catapult India to the next phase of Digital revolution thereby enabling inclusive participation of all citizens to create a truly digital society. Outcomes of National Broadband Mission envisages fulfilling the vision of “Broadband for All’ and fulfill the goals of the NDCP 2018, Digital India Programme and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
For quick rollout of Broadband across the country it is necessary that the Telecom and Infrastructure companies are able to lay optical fibre cables and install new Towers; which is possible only if State Governments and Local Bodies provide necessary Right of Way(RoW) approvals promptly.
Accordingly, emphasizing the importance of broadband connectivity throughout the nation, Department of Telecom has decided to review the status of grant of such approvals at regular intervals with participation of COAI, DIPA etc. and has appealed to State Governments to expedite RoW Application Approval Process in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016.