The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) decision to seal illegal cell phone towers in the city has backfired.
People complained of bad network connection and of frequent call droppings on Friday. Sealing of towers has created dark zones in areas where network connectivity was quite bad. The areas are Lajpat Nagar, Ashram, Rohini, Vasant Vihar, Narela, Kapashera, Okhla among others. HT was the first to report on illegal cell phone towers, on September 21.
“I haven’t encountered signal problems to such an extent earlier ever. I have been using my mobile phone for years,” said Rajiv Kakaria, a resident of Greater Kailash I.
The civic agency said it has sealed 150 illegal cell phone towers, as they did not have a clearance. It said a number of towers would be demolished in the coming days.
“All those towers that were constructed without permission from MCD are being sealed,” said MCD commissioner K.S. Mehra.
Representatives of the mobile telephony industry told Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that several of these mobile phone towers existed before 2003, when guidelines for these were framed. While Dikshit reportedly said illegal towers would eventually have to go, she asked MCD to maintain a status quo.
“The CM has asked the MCD to stop sealing any more towers. They have also been asked to draw up a policy by January 31 and submit it with the government,” Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said.
The civic agency said out of 4,532-cell phone towers in the city, 2517 were illegal.