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Reliance Jio takes forward 4G plans in Bengal

Carrying forward its project of introducing 4G services in West Bengal, Reliance Jio - the telecom wing of Reliance Industries - will soon launch its trenchless drilling process in conjunction with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), an official said Monday.

The company is scheduled to start work within a month in areas under the KMC, using the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and microtrenching technology to lay optical fibre cables in furtherance of the 4G technology.

"As soon as we get clearance from the mayor-in-council, we will start work across 750 km in areas under KMC. It shouldn't take even a month...less than that for the work to start," said Tarun Jhunjhunwala, business head (east), of Reliance Jio.

A group of top civic officials met the Reliance Jio representative to iron out legalities and financial details. They are expected to decide within the next 48 others the schedule for work to start.

"We have received the draft agreement and in this meeting we have got clarity in the legal and financial aspects," said Jhunjhunwala.

The Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio has already gone ahead with its HDD process in a stretch of around 400 km in non-KMC areas, as part of the 4G programme that will see an investment of Rs.2,000 to Rs.3,000 crore in the state.

"We expect the work to be completed by the first quarter of 2014," said Jhunjhunwala.