Civic bodies fail to deseal mobile towers despite HC order

  • Mohit Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 09, 2015 11:31 IST

The three municipal corporations are yet to deseal 67 mobile towers that comply with norms, despite a Delhi high court order from a year ago directing them to do so.

Fewer mobile towers means increase in the number of dead zones or areas outside the range of a mobile tower which results in frequent call drops — a menace for which telecom regulator TRAI has proposed penalising service providers.

However, sources in the corporation said they had initiated an internal inquiry and re-assessment after it came to light that even mobile towers with proper permits had been sealed.

“The re-assessment was initiated after a large number of companies which were served notices, produced permits. Further, the corporations were also pulled up by the high court for not complying with its order of de-sealing the mobile towers,” said a high ranking official.

Over a couple of years now, the civic bodies have been sealing mobile towers for violating structural safety norms. According to senior officials, the Delhi high court had ordered the three corporations to de-seal 67 mobile towers which were found to have been sealed by the civic bodies despite having proper structural safety clearances.

In the past two months, the drive was intensified and over 250 such towers were sealed. Further, officials said that 500 more towers have been served showcause notice for allegedly flouting norms.

According to corporation data, half of the 8,500 mobile towers under its jurisdiction have been erected in violation of safety rules. “An approval from the municipal corporation is also required before erecting a mobile tower which certifies the structural safety of the building. However, more than 4,500 mobile towers are operating without proper permissions,” said a high ranking official.

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