MCD against cell phone towers in residential areas

February 9th, 2010 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Tuesday cleared a new policy for erecting cell phone towers in the city, and said no towers would be allowed in residential areas unless there is no alternative.
It also gave a month’s time to service operators who have erected cell phone towers without permission to apply for regularisation.

An MCD sub-committee on framing the policy on erection of cell phone towers submitted its report Tuesday. The recommendations were accepted at a meeting of the MCD’s apex standing committee.

According to the MCD, the national capital has around 2,500 illegal towers that give access to various telecommunication service providers. Around 900 have been served notices while for the rest the MCD’s permission is awaited.

The sub-committee recommended that least priority should be given to cell phone towers on residential buildings and in group housing societies.

“In case of residential buildings, it shall be certified that no other alternative is available with the service provider. In case of a group housing residential building, an NOC (no objection cerificate) from all the occupants of the housing block along with the NOC of the society would be required,” the recommendations said.

For getting a no-objection certificate (NOC) for a cell tower, the telecom providers will require “a recommendation letter by COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) to the fact that the proposed tower is essentially required at the site as the nearest tower of this company is existing at a distance and no sharing of tower with other company is available”.

The service provider will also have to submit that the proposed tower is not harmful to the health of nearby residents.

The sub-committee recommended that towers “shall only be permitted on regularized buildings and the service provider company shall provide third-party insurance”.

A fee of Rs.500,000 would be charged per tower and Rs.100,000 per service provider in case a tower is being shared by different companies. Towers more than five years old will also require a renewal within a month.

“The operators, who have erected cell towers without permission, shall apply to the MCD for regularisation within one month as per earlier policy in force prior to implementation of this new policy. In case of non-compliance, action for removal of such towers shall be initiated as per law,” an official statement said here.

The committee observed that cell phone towers are damaging the city’s skyline.

“In foreign countries, no such mobile towers are visible as they are using the latest technology. Since communication is an essential requirement of the society, the existing mobile towers cannot be demolished or sealed immediately,” the statement added.

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