BJP leader Damu hits out at Sudin, exposes 4G WiFi tower scam

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 21 September 2015 19:17 IST

Damu Naik, former Fatorda MLA and leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, has exposed a 4G WiFi tower scam of Reliance, while hitting out at the Public Works Department, headed by Sudin Dhawalikar.

He has also filed a complaint before the vigilance department, demanding criminal investigation into the whole case. 

Naik has also alleged another related scam of a private company intending to collect rent of the towers erected in Margao in public land, depriving Margao municipality of monthly revenue to the tune of Rs three lakh.

The former BJP legislator has also raised suspicion over installation of 4G WiFi towers all over Goa, alleging that a Kolhapur-based contractor is installing the towers by deploying bouncers at the site, that too after midnight.

The PWD has identified 45 locations along the National Highways passing through Goa, covering 29 village panchayats.

Similarly, the Directorate of Panchayats has granted NOC to build 4G WiFi towers of Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd in 120 locations in 61 village panchayats on the internal roads.

The exact number of locations in municipal areas is not known, except 10 in the Margao city.

No NOC from local bodies

According to Naik, the PWD has approved erection of 4G WiFi Reliance towers across the state without taking prior approval of the local self-governing bodies like panchayats or the municipalities.

The RTI information attached with this complaint states that the PWD had moved a note on 15 July for the NOC from panchayats while the Directorate of Panchayats granted it on 6 August, allegedly without taking consent of the Panchayat councils.

In a reply to another RTI application, Margao municipality has stated that it has not given any permission to erect the towers, in a private or municipal land, to Reliance and no revenue is accrued on it.

The Margao municipality has however admitted of having received an application from Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd, but without any documents or construction licences attached to it.

According to Naik, the PWD is not an authorised department to fix the rent for the towers and the lease agreements need to be signed with the local bodies – panchayats or the municipalities.

He also claims that metros like Delhi, Mumbai or Gurgaon charges monthly rental between Rs two to five lakh. Goa PWD has however charged a fixed monthly licence fee of Rs 19,000 for each tower, with an annual increase of 10 per cent.

Sc & Techno guidelines not followed

The BJP leader has also pointed out that approval has been granted by the PWD without following the guidelines laid down by the Department of Science, Technology and Environment.

The department lays down several guidelines, involving local office of Department of Telecommunications, Goa State Pollution Control Board and even a high-level telecom committee, headed by the chief secretary.

According to Naik, the PWD has granted approval for the 4G WiFi towers without obtaining NOCs also from the health department and the South Goa Planning and Development Authority.

He has also hit out at the electricity department, headed by BJP minister Milind Naik, that electrical connections are given to all these towers without installing meters.

Pvt party renting out Govt land?

Naik has also attached a Letter of Intent, dated 11 June, written to SAN Logistics and Consultancy Services regarding sub-leasing the land within the jurisdiction of Margao Municipality.

When asked about signing of the final Lease Deed, Naik told that the whole process was stalled after complaints were filed by citizens at the Margao police station and before the Margao municipal authorities.

The intent of letter however he produced before the vigilance department talks of 10 plots of 36 square meters each, to be sub-leased to Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd.

The letter also intends to sign a lease of 15 years by charging Rs 30,000 per plot per month, which amounts to Rs three lakh per month, Rs 36 lakh per year and Rs 5.40 crore in 15 years.

The copy of the Letter of Intent, attached by Naik along with the complaint, is signed by Ulan Agnelo Antao and Sushant Ghodge, both partners of SAM Logistics and Consultancy Services.  

Damu Naik complaint before Vigilance Dept is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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