Cell phone users in Noida continued to suffer loss of connectivity on Tuesday as mobile service providers failed to submit joint affidavits till the deadline, which ended on Tuesday evening.
In a clampdown against ‘illegal’ cell towers since last week, the Noida authority has sealed 224 towers till date, out of which only eight were de-sealed on Tuesday. The joint affidavits were to state that both cell phone companies and building owners would comply with all safety norms for the building as listed by Noida authority.
Sandeep Chandra, Senior Project Engineer of Noida Authority, told HT that unless a joint affidavit is submitted by both the service providers and owners of buildings where the cell towers are installed, de-sealing cannot start.
Cell phone users were the main losers. “I have to completely depend on my landline for keeping in touch with my office. Connectivity is very poor and call drops are frequent,” said Suryakant Verma, a resident of Noida’s sector 40.
The representatives of operators and local authorities are still discussing the issue. “We are pursuing this at the highest level both in Delhi and in Noida,” said T R Dua, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
The reason behind a joint affidavit not being submitted by many is that 50 per cent of the towers that are sealed are installed on residential buildings whose owners fear if they give joint affidavit, their lease deed may be cancelled as the premises were meant only for residential purposes and they have not taken permission from authority for installation of towers.
Many have also constructed more floors than permissible under building byelaws.
The case is listed at Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow Bench for hearing on February 3.