With the Centre asking the states to implement the new mobile phone tower emission norms from September 1, 2012 and follow the guidelines to issue clearance for the installation of mobile phone towers, the BMC will now take action against the illegal towers in the city according to the new norms and dismantle those which are not obeying the new norms.
The BMC city planner Amit Gajbhiye said the BMC would intensify the campaign against the illegal mobile towers in the city according to the new norms, released by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to ensure best possible telecom services without compromising on public safety/human health. “We have around 637 mobile towers in Bhopal of which around 270 are illegal, 259 are legal and another 50 mobile towers have cases pending in the court. Till date we have dismantled around 58 towers”, he said.
The BMC has also asked officers to see to it that no permissions are given for setting up of the towers near or atop schools and hospitals/nursing homes or near overhead water tanks.On March 29, 2012, after the Congress party corporators alleged corruption and irregularities in the setting up of mobile towers within the city’s municipal limits, the BMC speaker Kailash Mishra constituted a high-level committee to investigate the allegations and asked it to present the report in the next meeting of the BMC council.
The speaker had also instructed that no new permission for setting up of the towers be given by the BMC until the report was submitted. The committee comprised mayor Krishna Gaur, BMC commissioner Rajneesh Shrivastava, and corporators Praveen Saxena and Azizuddin.
Given the numerous illegal mobile phone towers in Bhopal and huge financial losses incurred to the BMC due to them the BMC later chose a middle path- instead of demolishing all the illegal towers, it wanted to regularise them. The BMC wishes to regularise towers after charging the tower operators with compounding fee and the initial fee.
Based on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Radiation, norms for exposure limit for the Radio Frequency Field (Base Station Emissions) was reduced to 1/10th of the existing limits prescribed by the International Commission on Non- Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). These directions had to be implemented from April 1, 2012, initially but the date was later extended to September 1, 2012.