Kathmandu Metropolitan City is set to initiate cable management work within its jurisdiction starting from Baisakh 25, Monday. However, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), the telecom regulator, has expressed concerns regarding the simultaneous management of telephone and internet cables.
Previously, the city government had issued a 15-day ultimatum to service providers, urging them to remove excess cables from poles. The deadline is set to expire on Baisakh 27. Responding to the matter, the NTA released a statement acknowledging the initiation of the work but deeming the simultaneous management of telephone and internet cables as challenging.
The regulatory body mentioned that legislation is being formulated to govern the management of “utility ducts” during road construction for cable management. Additionally, unused wires have already been removed and bundled in various areas such as Singhadurbar, Patan Durbar, Putalisadak, Kamaladi, Thamel, and Maitighar, through collaborative efforts between the Kathmandu Metropolitan municipality, the Internet Service Providers Association of Nepal (ISPAN), and the NTA.
Moreover, the government plans to pass a law regulating telecom infrastructure vendors, which the NTA believes will contribute to improved wire management and additional investments.
In a recent Facebook announcement, Mayor Balen Shah of the metropolitan city expressed the local authority's determination to proceed with the cable management work. The decision to remove unnecessary cables from electric poles stems from concerns about safety and aesthetics. Mayor Shah highlighted the disorganized appearance caused by the extensive clutter of cables, with 53 incidents of fires reported last year alone. The mayor emphasized the need for positive action and regretted the lack of a favorable response from the authorities. Consequently, the local government intends to take the necessary steps to address the issue.
“We cannot achieve an orderly and beautiful metropolitan city by allowing this problem to persist. Kathmandu Metropolitan City is ready to exercise its authority to mitigate and manage fire risks. We are committed to making our city orderly, beautiful, and safeguarding the well-being of our citizens,” Mayor Shah stated.
The mayor also sought support from residents who may be affected by the cable management work undertaken by the local government.
Metropolitan Police Superintendent Manoj Lamichhane stated that unmanaged wires in the Maitighar Mandala and New Road areas will be removed commencing at 8 am on Baisakh 25.