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DoT raps BSNL for delaying alternate network for Defence

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 20:02

New Delhi: Concerned over the delay in creating alternate network for the armed forces, which would be crucial to get the spectrum vacated, the Department of Telecom has asked BSNL to expedite the work and set up monitoring mechanism immediately.

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure had approved the proposal for an `alternate communication network project`, to be implemented on a mission mode by BSNL, and a team with the BSNL CMD as the mission director was to be constituted with representatives from the Defence and DoT.

According to an internal note by DoT joint secretary JS Deepak, "I understand that the team has not been constituted and this matter was adversely viewed during the review meeting taken by the high-level monitoring committee under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary at a meeting last week."

Sources said any delay in the project could affect the forthcoming auction of 3G spectrum as the Defecne Ministry has to vacate the airwaves only after this project.

BSNL has expressed concern on the cost of the project going up as the states are asking for right of way compensation (for digging the land to lay optical fibre).

According to sources, the Cabinet Secretary has asked BSNL to recover the costs from the end-users/subscribers or even bgy making of additional plan provisions.

"Under no situation, the optical fibre communication network for the armed forces should be delayed," the Cabinet Secretary is understood to have said at the last review meeting held on December 24.

As per the minutes of the last review meeting, DoT mentioned that out of the total 180 locations for which Access Network is being implemented through Optical Fibre mode, the infrastructure in respect of 10 locations for Air Force is not yet ready.

In respect of other projects, the DoT said that even though Expression of Interest (EoI) was ready on December 7 last year, necessary specifications from Navy were received only recently.

And from the Army, it was mentioned that the specifications were yet to be received.


First Published: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 20:02

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