KMC starts removing tangled cables from the streetsKMC officials say although they have started the drive, it will take a long time to clear all the jumbled wires in the city area.
Despite the federal government’s reluctance and non-cooperation, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) began removing the tangled mess of overhead cables from two places of Kathmandu from Monday.
On April 24, the KMC had issued a 15-day public notice saying it would proceed to remove the wires on its own if the internet service providers, cable TV operators and others ignored the request.
“The KMC was determined to implement its announcement from the date it had given in its notice, to service providers,” said Nabin Manandhar, spokesperson at the City.
The Ministry of Information and Communication, and the Ministry of Federal and General Administration expressed their concerns over the KMC's decision and the ultimatum it had given to the communication service providers, saying the "local authorities randomly cut cables in the name of beautifying the city.”
The Ministry of Communications, in a letter sent to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration on April 25 had said consumers would be deprived of communication services, and it had termed City’s decision as arbitrary as cutting and removing cables was going to cause huge financial losses.
KMC officials, however, said they are not sure when they will be able to clear all the tangled wires from the KMC area, as the task is massive.
“Removing unwanted wires or cables has been a very complicated issue, we can’t say when we will be able to finish this drive,” said Manandhar.
He said, the City is removing only the unused cables, or jumbled ones that are causing visual pollution.
Although the City had announced to start its drive from Sunday, it held meetings with communication service providers, and started the drive only from Monday.
Meanwhile, the City police chief Raju Nath Pandey said the KMC, on Monday, had cleared the cables only in Maitighar and New Road areas.
“We could only remove the unwanted cables up to 100 metres from Maitighar and 50 metres from the New Road area,” said Pandey.
He said the situation of jumbled wires on the poles and stray cables lying in the streets and on pavements is so complicated that the City is going to find it hard to finish the business.
“We can’t randomly cut all the wires. From today’s experience, we can say that from one pole we are generating nearly one truckload of stray cables,” said Pandey.
He said the City will take months to clear the jumbled wires. “This task is going to be very complicated, if only they were removed earlier, it would have been much easier,” added Pandey.
Taking to social media on May 5, Balendra Shah, mayor of the KMC, had expressed his dissatisfaction at the lack of cooperation from government ministries and internet companies in his efforts.
Indicating that the KMC may unilaterally move ahead with its plan to remove the tangled cables, Shah had informed the public that communication services may be interrupted in the days ahead during the plan’s implementation.
This is, however, not the first time the City has taken such an approach. After being elected as Kathmandu mayor in May 2017, Bidya Sundar Shakya had also vowed to manage the jumbled wires on the utility poles—yet the problem remains unaddressed to this day.