•      Mon Mar 4 2024

Revoke of UTL’s writ paves way for information highway

Kathmandu, Feb 7: Way has opened for construction of the information highway with the repeal of all the writs registered by the United Telecom Limited (UTL).

The joint bench comprising Justices Prakash Man Singh Raut and Abdul Aziz Musalman on Tuesday had annulled the UTL’s writ, citing the claims made in the writ could not be sustained.

The UTL had lodged writ at the Supreme Court after Nepal Telecommunication Authority refused to renew the contract awarded to UTL for installing the optical fibre following the termination of the project period.

With the latest court order in this connection, the way has opened for NTA to revoke the UTL’s license.

The UTL, through Tele Infra Nepal, on 5 May 2019, filed a writ challenging NTA’s decision of canceling the contract of the project for laying optical fibre along the Mid-hills Highway and of revoking the license also in case of failure to pay the dues.

NTA had signed an agreement with UTL on 27 April 2017 for expanding optical fibre in Gandaki and Lumbini provinces with the grant of Rs 2.01 billion of Rural Telecommunications Development Fund.

As per the agreement, UTL was supposed to construct the telecommunications infrastructures along the Mid-hills Highway from Aarughat of Gorkha to Burtibang of Baglung and in 21 districts of the Gandaki and Lumbini provinces until 27 April 2019. However, UTL could not carry out the required works until the deadline.

The government had, in its budget for the fiscal year 2078-79 BS, stated that the information highway would be developed by laying the optical fibre within two years. A meeting of the Council of Ministers on 15 February 2022 decided to cancel the agreement with UTL after no construction works of the project were done within the deadline. #Nepal