Coming down heavily on the illegal cell phone towers that have been set up without mandatory clearance from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the civic agency on Wednesday decided to issue show cause notices to the cellular service providers. Following this, all illegal towers in the city will be demolished.
Hindustan Times was the first to report the illegal cell phone towers on September 21.
“These towers do not have our permission and I have directed all the deputy commissioners of the zones to issue show cause notices to them after which all the illegal towers would be brought down,” said R.K. Srivastava, additional commissioner (Engineering), MCD.
Srivastava said a number of towers had come up at a time when the civic agency had not formulated a policy regarding setting up of these towers. However, municipal councillors claimed that even in such a scenario, they should have been taken under the MCD's net after the policy came into being in 2003.
Officials of Indus Towers, the largest tower company declined to comment. Officials of Relinace Infratel also declined to comment
Municipal councillors demanded that an inquiry be set up as to how these towers were installed without the civic agency’s approval.
“These towers are a health hazard and if they were set up illegally they should be heavily penalised and demolished immediately,” said Rajni Abbi, deputy chairperson of the MCD’s standing committee.
Many others, however, expressed concern that a demolition action of these towers will result in network collapse across the city.
For this, the MCD has said a new policy is being formulated under which a need-based regularisation of illegal towers will be considered if they meet the requirement.
“A policy has been drafted regarding the setting up of mobile towers on the ground and on rooftops. We have consulted the World Health Organisation regarding this as it concerns public health. We will be tabling it within 15 days,” said MCD Commissioner K.S. Mehra.