The civic agencies are in no mood to slow down the sealing drive against mobile cell towers under their jurisdiction even as the city residents grapple with call drops and slow internet services.
In continuation of the sealing drive, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has sealed 17 more mobile towers in the area under its jurisdiction in the past two weeks taking the total number of mobile towers sealed in the past two months in its area to 115.
As per official data, the three divisions of the municipal corporation have sealed 266 such towers throughout Delhi, in the last two months, worsening mobile connectivity in areas under their jurisdiction. The problem is likely to escalate with 500 more towers being served show-cause notices for allegedly flouting permission norms, sources said.
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“Action must be taken against the mobile towers which are violating norms. Although we have ordered officials to identify municipal buildings which can sustain towers which will help us deal the issue of illegal towers as well as generate revenue,” said Radhe Shyam Sharma, chairman, south Delhi standing committee.
Senior leaders in SDMC have, however, raised concerns over the proposal of the BJP-led civic body alleging the idea violates the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. “Firstly, the corporation doesn’t have so many buildings which can incorporate the mobile towers. Secondly, the scheme would also by default be extended to municipal schools, but do we want our children to sit under such towers? “said Farhad Suri, leader of opposition, south MCD.
According to officials, while there are 8,500 mobile towers under the jurisdiction of the municipal corporations, 3,670 are under the jurisdiction of the south corporation.
“Before erecting a mobile tower, the structural safety of the building has to be checked. An approval from the municipal corporation is also required. However, as per data, almost 2,537 mobile towers are operating without proper permissions,” said a high-ranking official.