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Saturday, June 30, 2001

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MTNL sues telecom company for cable damage

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, JUNE 29. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) today dragged Bharati Telenet Limited, a private telecom company, to the court accusing it of damaging its cables while digging for laying down its cables here in the Capital.

The suit seeking direction to the telecom company to stop immediately the digging work was part heard by Mr. Justice Mukul Mudgal.

The Additional Solicitor-General, Mr. Mukul Rohtagi, submitted that the Bharati Telenet had been carrying out its job in a negligent manner causing damage to MTNL's cables affecting thousands of telephone lines in various parts of the city.

He submitted that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had imposed a complete ban on digging during the monsoon, but the company was still making channels.

The company was carrying out the digging work at high speed, especially in the night. If the digging was not stopped forthwith and pits and channels were not filled, it was feared more telephone lines would be affected, he said.

He also charged the company with violating provisions of the Indian Telegraphic Act while digging land.

Counsel for the company submitted that his client was kept in the dark about the route of MTNL's cables as the plaintiff did not provide it with the route map of its cables.

Accusing the MTNL of trying to delay its cable-laying work, as his client is one of the competitors in the fixed phone area, the counsel suggested setting up of a co-ordination committee to see that his client's work was carried out without causing any problem to MTNL's cables.

He submitted the company was digging to lay down cables as it had got a licence for providing fixed phones here.

The Judge will further hear the suit tomorrow. He asked the MCD counsel present in the court to submit the view of the local body on Saturday.

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