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MOEF gives go ahead for Indian part of Bay of Bengal Gateway submarine cable project

September 24, 2014
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The expert appraisal committee (EAC) under the Ministry of Environment and Forests has given the COASTAL REGULATION ZONE clearance for the Indian part of the Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) submarine cable project. Under this project, Vodafone South Limited, a subsidiary of Vodafone India, has undertaken the work at the cable landing point in Mumbai while Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), is carrying out the works at Santhome Beach in Chennai.

Last year, global telecom operator Alcatel-Lucent, and a consortium comprising Vodafone Group, Dialog Axiata, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), RJIL, Omantel and Telekom Malaysia, signed a turnkey contract to deploy a 100 Gbps submarine cable system to connect Oman, United Arab Emirates, India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. The BBG cable system will span over 8,000 km and will enhance robustness and reliability of international connectivity in the six countries via landing points in Barka (Oman), Fujairah (UAE), Mumbai and Chennai (India), Ratmalana (Sri Lanka), Penang (Malaysia) and Singapore. The commercial operation of the system is planned to commence by end of 2014.

EAC has already carried out a detailed impact assessment study to identify the potential impact of the project on environment and social factors. The assessment has demonstrated that the impact likely to be generated in the cable-laying operation in deepoffshore water will be minimal. Further, no impact is expected on fisheries or shipping activities. The cable lay installation both at Mumbai and Chennai is likely to be completed by October 2014.


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