The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday directed Punjab and the Chandigarh administration to frame policy about the installation of mobile communication towers in residential areas and let the court know on January 27.
In case the two administrations fail to frame policy in the given time, the chief secretary of Punjab and the UT home secretary will have to appear before the court. The directions are based on a petition by the people of village near Ropar, who had opposed a tower being installed in the residential area that includes a school and an anganwadi centre.
In response to the petition, Ropar's subdivisional magistrate (SDM) had filed an affidavit that the tower's installation was under the central telecom ministry and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) rules, and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) had permission from Punjab Pollution Control Board.
In May 2012, the high court had issued directions to remove all mobile towers from residential areas but the Supreme Court stayed that order. The telecom companies' appeal against the high court order remains pending in the apex court.