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Cell towers to topple?

Soon, cellular service providers will not be able to erect cell phone towers in residential areas in the city.

delhi Updated: Dec 14, 2009 23:37 IST
HT Correspondent

Soon, cellular service providers will not be able to erect cell phone towers in residential areas in the city.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has framed a new policy under which these towers will be set up only in non-residential areas.

Those who have illegally set up cell phone towers will now have to apply to the MCD for regularisation, failing which, the tower will be demolished. HT had reported that cell phone towers had sprouted illegally in the city, without MCD’s permission.

“A total of 2,517 cell phone towers were set up illegally without taking permission from us,” said MCD commissioner K.S. Mehra. “An opportunity is being given to them. If they meet the criteria the tower will be legalised. They need to apply at the earliest, otherwise the tower will be demolished.”

The civic agency had sought World Health Organisation’s (WHO) opinion on cell phone towers being hazardous to health. According to the MCD, WHO has said considering the low exposure level and research results collected to date there is no cientific evidence the towers affect health adversely.

As per the guidelines for installation of base station antennae, clearance is required from Airport Authority of India, Delhi Urban Arts Commission, Chief Fire Officer, Archaeological Survey of India and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation as applicable.

Structural safety certificate will have to be obtained from five institutions — Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, Rail India Technical and Economic Services limited, (RITES), Delhi, National Council for Building Material, Faridabad and IIT Roorkee.

The company will have to pay installation charges of Rs 1 lakh to the civic agency for setting up these towers. In addition to this the MCD will charge Rs 25,000 as licence fee per month.

Mehra held a meeting with cellular service providers on Monday and will examine the existing towers from the point of view of structural safety of the building on which they stand.