Department of Telecommunications formulates the Indian Telegraph (Infrastructure Safety) Rules 2022

Source: The post is based on the articleDepartment of Telecommunications formulates the Indian Telegraph (Infrastructure Safety) Rules 2022published in PIB on 6th January 2023

What is the News?

The Department of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Communications has formulated the Indian Telegraph (Infrastructure Safety) Rules 2022. 

What is the purpose of these rules?

Government/ Telecom Service Providers(TSPs) together have established the much-required pan-India telecom infrastructure networks for various telecom sector issues of concern. 

Various agencies often undertake excavation activities wherein underground utility assets get damaged either due to a lack of knowledge of agencies about existing utilities or a lack of coordination with utility asset owner agencies.

These damages cause economic loss to utility asset owners as well as business loss and inconvenience to the public. In the Telecom Sector alone, there are nearly 10 lakh OFC cuts per year causing an economic loss of approx. Rs 3000 Crore/year.

These rules need to address the issues of safety to the existing telecom infrastructure.

What are the salient features of the portal?

Any person who wishes to exercise a legal right to dig or excavate any property which is likely to cause damage to a telegraph infrastructure shall give notice to the licensee, prior to commencement through a common portal.

The licensee shall then provide, through the portal, the details of telegraph infrastructure owned/ controlled by them under or along the property with which the person intends to deal with precautionary measures.

The person digging or excavating shall take appropriate action on precautionary measures provided by the licensee.

Further, any person, who has dug/excavated any property causing damage to a telegraph infrastructure shall be liable to pay the damage charges to the telegraph authority. The damage charges shall be computed based on such expenses as may be incurred in restoring damages.

What are the benefits of these rules?

For Government – Central & State/UTs: Many utilities can be saved from unwanted cuts and wasteful costs towards restoration, thus saving thousands of crores for businesses and associated tax loss to Govt.

For Citizens: Inconvenience caused to citizens because of frequent breakdowns may be reduced due to better synergy between the agencies.

 

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