Ministries of IT & Telecom and Railways have reached an agreement on the laying of optic fiber cable over railway land and payment of fee on the use of the right of way (RoW), well-informed sources told Propakistani.
Sources stated that on the instructions of SIFC, the Ministry of IT and the Ministry of Railways held talks on the issue of right-of-way charges. In the negotiations, the Ministry of Railways has agreed not to increase the charges of Right of Way.
According to the sources, it has been decided in the negotiations that the Ministry of Railways will not charge additional land charges for the telecom infrastructure. The Ministry of Railways will now charge Rs.36 per meter instead of Rs. 240 per meter for laying optical fiber on the right-of-way.
Sources added that talks were held between the Ministry of IT and Telecom and the Ministry of Railways on the sidelines of SIFC last month. The Ministry of IT had taken a stand that railways should not use the right of way for revenue generation tools; RoW should be on a profit-no-loss basis to facilitate the fiberization.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication pleaded that currently Public RoW is being charged at Rs. 36 per meter by various public organizations including the National Highway Authority (NHA) and the same may be followed by Railways. The Ministry of Railways had sought time to review its right of way policy (RoW) during the meeting.
Earlier, the Ministry of Railways had prepared the right-of-way policy, under which it was decided to collect commercial charges on the right-of-way to reduce the deficit of railways. The Ministry of Railways had decided to charge Rs. 240 per meter for telecom infrastructure on right-of-way.