The path for constructing the information highway has been cleared following the annulment of all writs filed by United Telecom Limited (UTL).
A joint bench comprising Justices Prakash Man Singh Raut and Abdul Aziz Musalman on Tuesday revoked UTL’s writ, stating that the claims made in the writ were unsustainable.
UTL had lodged a writ at the Supreme Court after the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) refused to renew the contract for installing optical fiber, following the expiration of the project period.
With the recent court order, NTA is now able to revoke UTL’s license.
On May 5, 2019, UTL, through Tele Infra Nepal, filed a writ challenging NTA’s decision to cancel the project contract for laying optical fiber along the Mid-hills Highway, and also the revocation of the license in case of failure to pay dues.
NTA had entered into an agreement with UTL on April 27, 2017, to expand optical fiber in Gandaki and Lumbini provinces with a grant of Rs 2.01 billion from the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund.
According to the agreement, UTL was tasked with constructing telecommunication infrastructure along the Mid-hills Highway from Aarughat of Gorkha to Burtibang of Baglung, as well as in 21 districts of the Gandaki and Lumbini provinces, by April 27, 2019.
However, UTL failed to complete the required work by the deadline.
In its budget for the fiscal year 2078-79 BS, the government announced plans to develop the information highway by laying optical fiber within two years.
Following a meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 15, 2022, the agreement with UTL was canceled due to the lack of project construction within the stipulated deadline.