The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) earlier this week issued a Gazette notification for the provisioning of submarine optical fiber cable connectivity between mainland Kochi and Lakshwadeep Islands. The project approved by the Cabinet last year will be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) chosen as the Project Execution Agency will incur the capital expenditure through USOF.
The KLI project will create a direct communication link between Kochi and 11 Islands of Lakshadweep viz Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Agati, Amini, Androth, Minicoy, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan & Kadmat through a dedicated submarine optical fiber cable (OFC). The project will cost Rs 1072 crore excluding taxes with 1869 kilometers of 6 fiber pair submarine optical fiber to be laid.
“Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the Project Execution Agency for the project, has floated a global tender on 10.03.2021 for selection of agency for implementation of the project on turnkey basis. The tender was opened on 16.07.2021 and is under evaluation.
Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL), the Technical Consultant for the project, has issued the purchase order on 19.07.2021 for selection of agency to obtain Statutory clearances including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)/ Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), Forest, Wildlife clearance, etc. The tender for selection of Independent Monitoring Agency (IMA) was floated by TCIL on 18.05.2021. The tender was opened on 19.07.2021 and is under evaluation,” said Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications earlier this week.
DoT had earlier in April 2021 issued the Gazette notification for provisioning of mobile services in identified uncovered areas of Karbi-Anglong and Dima Hasao districts of the State of Assam and in the State of Arunachal Pradesh. The Capital Expenditure and Operating Expenditure net of Revenue incurred by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) shall be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).