SDMC looks away as illegal cell towers thrive in residential areas

The Corporation, which is facing flak for not tightening noose against owners of the illegal towers mushrooming in the area, has announced to launch a special crack down <g data-gr-id="33">drive</g>. Corporation leaders say that in the past few months, there has been a sharp increase in the number of cellphone towers in the city, especially in residential colonies.  

“We have decided to start sending notices to cellular companies for removal of these towers. There are close to 3,400 illegal mobile towers in our area. We are also conducting a fresh survey to identify the new towers that have been installed in the past few months. We will first issue notices but if the companies don’t remove the tower or get it approved from the civic agencies, we will seal it,” said Radhey Shyam Sharma, Standing Committee Chairman of South MCD.  

Reacting over the issue, Farhad Suri, Leader of Opposition in SDMC, said: “The Corporation is filling its pockets by taking money from mobile tower operators. Either you <g data-gr-id="37">regularise</g> the mobile tower operators or remove them totally because they have not been able to get NOC. Even they are not paying Rs 5 lakh to the Corporation for NOC which is a revenue loss. BJP-run MCDs and politicians there are gathering money under the table.” 

An official admitted that a large number of towers have been installed in residential colonies. Due to the growing awareness about harmful radiation emitted from them, the civic agency has received several requests for their removal. “We also need to check the structural soundness of the building where the tower is installed. Huge generator sets have been installed along with the tower on the roof of the building. Therefore, it is very important to check the stability of the structure,’’ the official said. 

He added that the policy was revised to limit the number of towers in residential colonies. Under the new policy, first preference was given to municipal and government buildings (barring hospitals and schools) followed by non-residential areas — near drains and vacant land. Not many operators have applied for permission in the last one year. 
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