Central and north Delhi are staring at a mobile-phone blackout.
Three days from Wednesday, when the deadline for replying to show-cause notices issued by it to service providers ends, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation of Delhi plans to seal around 667 mobile phone towers.There are some 1,900 towers in central and north Delhi that come under the jurisdiction of the north corporation. Of these, only 1,232 are legal.
Service providers would be issued show-cause notices as a number of towers had come up without permission, said PK Gupta, commissioner, north corporation. “If they fail to reply in three days, we’ll start sealing,” he said. A survey would be conducted to ascertain the number of illegal towers, said an official.
The number is expected to touch 800 from the present 677.
“To begin with towers atop school buildings or health institutions will be targeted,” the official said.
Though the jury is still out, a furious debate rages over the “harm” these towers cause, with reports claiming heightened risk of tumours and cancers to people living around them.
“We have not received any notice. If 677 of the 1,232 towers close down then the whole network in central and north Delhi will collapse,” said Rajan S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India.
Towers help in receiving and sending signals from mobile phones to service providers' base switch and vice-versa. Their removal can hamper connectivity.