Digging utilities may have to pay

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In a move that is not likely to go down too well with utility providers, BMC has proposed to charge them for using space under municipal roads, which is likely to fetch the civic body a revenue of about Rs 200 crore.

There are about 28 external agencies that have utilities under municipal roads. The civic administration has proposed an 'access charge' at Rs 100 per running metre per annum for these utilities. "They can approach higher authorities but we plan to make it compulsory," said municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte.

The civic administration has time and again been at loggerheads with several utility agencies for issues such as desilting, damage to its underground water utilities due to monorail and Metro work.

Meanwhile, the civic administration has also planned to focus on streamline utilities to avoid repeated digging of roads. Trenching is often carried out by these agencies either for repairs or new utilities.

"Shifting utilities in respective cells is expected to drastically reduce trenching as well as damage to other utilities while carrying out work," said Kunte.

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