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July 9, 2020

‘Cable operators given time to remove wires from electric poles’

Karachi

July 9, 2020

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has restrained cable operators from removing their wires from electric poles while no progress has been made with regard to the bundling of cables on these poles, the city’s commissioner informed the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday.

Filing a progress report on the removal of internet and TV wires from electric poles, Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani said cable operators have been given time to shift their hanging wires underground as part of the efforts to improve the ambience of the city.

Shallwani said cable operators have been restrained by the KMC from removing their wires while no progress has been made in the timeline provided to them.

He said cable operators’ associations have been reluctant to initiate the project of shifting their wires underground because they are afraid of investing in it.

He added that cable operators fear that the KMC or the office of the mayor may confiscate or destroy their structures in any stage of the project to carry out the work that may cause a

loss of billions of rupees to them.

After taking the report on record, the SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Khadim Hussain M Sheikh adjourned the hearing until August 5 because K-Electric’s counsel sought time to go through the report and file a reply.

The petitioner, namely KE, said that it had approached cable and internet operators to remove their wires from the power utility’s infrastructure because they cause safety hazards for the electricity provider and the public, especially in the monsoon season.

KE’s apprehension was that in case these wires were not removed before the start of the monsoon season, there was a possibility of an accident. Citing KE’s correspondence with cable and internet operators, the power company’s counsel said that no concrete steps have been taken for the removal of unauthorised wires. The counsel requested the SHC bench to declare that cable and internet operators have illegally installed their wires, which should be removed on grounds of public safety.