After L-G nod, ‘Right of Way’ policy likely to be notified in Delhi soon

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, V.K. Saxena, has approved the notification of ‘Right of Way’ (RoW) policy for underground and overground telecommunication infrastructure, which is critical for digitalisation, telephony and smooth roll out of 5G in the national capital, a source in the L-G secretariat said on Thursady.

“Even as 32 states and UTs have already notified their respective RoW policy, the national capital is yet to notify the same. However, Delhi L-G has cleared the notification put up directly to him by the Chief Secretary. To be mandatorily framed in compliance with the Indian Telegraph Rules, 2016, meant to facilitate the implementation of the National Broadcast Mission, this policy was stuck since 2020 due to pointless and persistent politicking on the part of the AAP government and its ministers,” said the source.

While the RoW policy should have been notified way back, after the government of India notified the Indian Telegraph Rules in 2016, the AAP government finally decided to formulate a draft policy in January 2020.

However, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia returned the file meant for notifying the policy back to the urban development department with the observations that “the local body, administrative authority, areas of jurisdiction, and authority for issuing permission are overlapping and contradictory and needs to be clearly defined and delineated”, in July 2022, added the source.

The source claimed that when the file was sent to him again in September, Sisodia resorted to “embroiling it in red tape and sent the file to the law department for re-examination”.

Thereafter, when the file duly vetted by the law department came to Sisodia through Law Minister Kailash Gahlot on November 1, he again marked it back to the urban development secretary without assigning any reason, the source claimed.

In the meanwhile, owing to the urgency of the matter and with the roll out of 5G in advance stages and the forthcoming G20 Summit, and the fact that all other states and UTs, including those in Delhi’s neighbourhood, had notified their policies, the file was put up to the L-G directly by the Chief Secretary, since it involved notification under Telegraph Rules, which is specifically a matter of the Union list, on November 23.

The L-G has since approved the notification of the policy, and it is expected to be notified soon, said the source.




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