LAHORE: The Pakistan Railways Board has accorded approval to its Right of Way (ROW) policy allowing telecom companies to lay optical fibre cables crossing railway lines, bridges and other installations.

This will help PR earn revenue from these companies seeking to lay the optical fibre cables meant for internet or other means of communication, Dawn has learnt.

“The approval to the policy has been granted in a recent meeting presided over by the PR board chairman Syed Mazhar Ali Shah at the PR Lahore headquarters,” said an official source privy to the development. “It was the most important issue lying pending for a long. With approval, the department would have additional revenue from the telecom sector,” the official requesting anonymity added.

According to him, since the PR had no such policy before it had no idea how to allow the telecom companies to lay the cables crossing the railway lines, bridges etc and charge them as other departments including the National Highway Authority (NHA) and Communication & Works Department were doing.

“The policy will be renewed every year. For now, this policy is valid till Dec 31, 2024,” he said. The official said under the policy the telecom companies can use the PR’s ROW in all cities for laying cable for internet and other purposes permissible under the law.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2023

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