There is no underground cable management system, DSCC advices buying more mobile internet
Dhaka South City Corporation’s (DSCC) recent drive to remove illegal overhead cable connections without setting up the underground cable management system has left half the city without internet for days.
A stay at home mom living in Dhanmondi, seeking anonymity said: “The internet for the last one month has been disconnected for 5 days in a row. In the middle of the pandemic, when all the schools are teaching online how are my children supposed to get their lessons?”
The problem is not the cutting of overhead cables-which pose an obvious threat like electrocution but the fact that the drive is being conducted without a solution like the underground cable management system. Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) will follow suit this Thursday too but their program does have an underground cable management system for the cables to be relocated in.
DSCC’s drive has cost cable and internet businesses a loss of more than Tk1 crore. Bangladesh Internet Business Association have also appealed to the Mayor Taposh about the matter.
Anwar Hossain Anu, president of the Bangladesh Internet Business Association, told Bangla Tribune: “We certainly welcome this initiative of the DSCC mayor. However, we need to be able to provide connections underground. The initiative taken by the government to take the cable connection underground has not yet been implemented. So how do we connect our cables then?
“Without an alternative arrangement, cables worth lakhs of taka are being cut off every day. How will we run the business if this goes on? There are even plans to get rid of overhead cables in the Motijheel commercial area where most banks and offices in the city are located, who are completely dependent on the internet to run their businesses. We have appealed to the mayor to consider the situation and we hope he considers our predicament.”
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune Abu Naser, the communication officer of DSCC said every cable and internet business operator has to follow the rules of the city corporation. “Firstly, they all have to apply for a permit, then we will verify and give them permission to do business in the DSCC area.”
When asked what people will do in the meantime, he said: “Mobile internet packages are cheap these days. People could use that as an alternative until the overhead cable removal program is complete.”
Imran Hossain who works from home had his internet cut off since September 12. "I was using my mobile internet for work but it cannot support the heavy load sometimes. Plus if I have to spend all my disposable income on buying internet, then how will I have anything left for food or entertainment?"
According to DSCC sources, on August 10 DSCC Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh at a program at Dhaka Mohila College said that overhead cables will be removed from DSCC area by December. Following that announcement DSCC mobile court started the eviction drive in several city corporation areas.
DNCC drive begins on Thursday
Following DSCC’s drive, DNCC is going to operate a similar drive to remove overhead cables from Thursday.
Initially DNCC will kick off this drive from the Pakistan embassy area to Gulshan 1, by ensuring a substitute option of underground cable management.
DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said: “We will begin a drive on Thursday to remove the illegal cables of different companies dangling over the streets of Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Niketan.”
Sources of DNCC said they are undertaking a pilot project to install underground cable management for internet and TV cable operators.
Businessmen can rent this underground cable line to provide their services.