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Reliance Jio’AAE-1 subsea cable project gets green panel’s nod

The Centre’s green panel has given the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance to Reliance Jio Infocom to build the Indian part of the Asia-Africa-Europe One (AAE-1) submarine cable system at Mumbai.
AAE-1, the largest next generation subsea cable system spanning around 25,000 km and linking South Asia to Africa and Europe via the Middle East, is being constructed by a consortium of 17 global service providers. The Indian part of the project will be implemented by Reliance Jio.
“The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) under the ministry has granted the CRZ approval to the Reliance Jio Infocom’s project that envisages landing of the AAE-I submarine cable system at Versova beach in Mumbai,” a senior environment ministry official said.
The cable will terminate in Mumbai at a Beach Man Hole (BMH) proposed to be located at a beach road connecting JP road to Versova Beach, in front of Harshvardhan Society, the official said.
“The EAC, after deliberation, recommended granting approval to the project under the CRZ Notification, 2011 subject to following conditions,” as per the minutes of the EAC meeting held recently.
The company should obtain all permissions from concerned authorities prior to commencement of the project, and should observe all safety requirements onshore and offshore, it said.
It further said that the company should carry the activity only in the limited 4-6 hours low tide timings so that there is no water ingress in the excavated area.
The excavated area should be covered after laying the cable, and even the CRZ area should be cordoned off by floating buoys with warning flasher lights and sound alarm in case of any intrusion into the cordoned area.
The EAC has also suggested that labour camps, storage of material and machinery should be away from the CRZ area.
The proposed AAE-1 cable system is to be completed this year. It aims at enhancing telecom connectivity, providing additional capacity and speed for international traffic.
The company has chosen Versova Beach as preferred route of cable laying of AAE-I because two other similar projects — Europe India Gateway (EIG) Submarine Cable Landing by Bharti Airtel Limited and Gulf Bridge International Cable System (GBICS) Submarine Cable Landing by Sifi Technologies — are already present there.
Another similar project “Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) Submarine Cable System Landing” by Vodafone South has been granted CRZ Clearance from the Environment Ministry recently.
Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, holds spectrum in 1800MHz (across 14 circles) and 2300MHz (across 22 circles) capable of offering fourth generation (4G) wireless services.

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