Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has run into yet another roadblock. The state-run telecom company was trying to monetise land assets in Chennai, but the Tamil Nadu government has red-flagged the move. The Tamil Nadu government has communicated with BSNL that it can’t move ahead with selling the land without the ‘consent’ of the state government.
BSNL was trying to sell more than 54.6 acres of land and was estimating to receive about Rs 1250 crore for the same. However, the Tamil Nadu government has red-flagged the move.
BSNL Had Identified Properties at Eight Prime Locations
For the first phase of monetising land assets, BSNL had identified properties at eight prime locations in Chennai. As per a TNN report, this included land in areas such as Flower Bazaar, Egmore, Royapettah, Vyaspardi, Triplicane, and suburban areas including Ambattur, Ennore, and Chengalpet town.
According to the Tamil Nadu government, the land allotted to the state-run telco was acquired by the state government and only given to BSNL on certain terms, which did not include the sale of the assets or use of it for any other purpose.
Thus BSNL has no power to monetise the land and sell it to a private entity. The rights for selling the land lie with the Tamil Nadu government. BSNL might not be able to sell the land as originally planned. The telco’s money-raising goals have taken a hit.
BSNL is in a very desperate position and is trying to conclude the 4G trials with the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The state-run telco needs a lot of money to be able to implement the capex required for launching 4G services PAN-India. Even the money that would have been raised by BSNL after selling the land was supposed to help the telco with improving its network infrastructure only. India might see BSNL’s 4G by the end of the year.