Even as the Noida administration’s drive against commercial establishments in residential areas continues, residents have demanded a crackdown against mobile towers set up in areas , because of their harmful effects.
Noida has a population of around seven lakh out of which over four lakh are cell phone users. About 50% of the 600-odd towers are in residential areas, allowed to be installed by house owners, 30% in commercial areas and 20% in industrial/institutional areas.
Sunil Sethi, general secretary, RWA Sector 31, said, “The authority will carry out its weekly sealing drive in our sector on Wednesday. We have demanded sealing of 10 mobile towers on residential plots in the sector.”
Acting president of the federation of Noida RWAs, NP Singh, said, "We have submitted a proposal to the authority to seal all mobile towers operating from residential plots. They should be installed either at community centres or at green belts." He said at every 500 metres in Noida, once could find these towers. In some areas, a single house has two towers, he said.
The Allahabad high court in January ordered formation of a panel of IIT experts to assess the impact of mobile towers in residential areas. The Noida authority has not been able to launch a crackdown to know if the towers operational fulfill the set norms because the posts of its top bosses continue to remain vacant.
"The court banned installation of new towers in residential areas and sought assessment of the impact of existing ones. We need to make sure towers in Noida don't flout norms," admitted an official.
In 2010, the authority sealed more than 200 towers, saying installation of towers was a commercial activity. This disrupted mobile connectivity in the city. Service providers reached court, which asked the authority to de-seal all of them on fulfillment of set norms.