The Noida authority on Wednesday said it will modify its mobile phone tower policy-2013 that decides the location that is most suitable for installation of towers in urban areas.
The move comes after private telecom companies demanded amendments as per the department of telecommunication (DoT), government of India policy-2012.
In the absence of a proper policy on mobile phone towers, telecommunication firms are not installing new towers in Noida. As a result, call drop issues are on the rise. Around 50 applications from different telecommunication firms seeking space to install new towers are pending with the Noida authority.
“It will lead to a major crisis if the authority plans to relocate mobile phone towers from residential areas. The number of call drops will increase. If all 250 mobile phone towers in residential areas are shifted, it will disturb the network. If the authority does not allow towers in residential areas, we will have to move the court for relief,” said Rajan S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI).
Noida authority officials said mobile towers will not be allowed in residential areas, schools and nursing homes.
“We are revising our policy drafted in 2013 as per DoT guidelines. We will approve the revision in a board meeting scheduled on March 9,” said Pramod Kumar Aggarwal, additional chief executive officer (ACEO) of the Noida authority.
The authority will revise norms pertaining to the structure of a tower, height of the antenna and the safety apparatus, among others.
“We are clear that no towers will be allowed in a residential area. Parks, commercial sectors, industrial sector and government buildings will be used to install towers. Once our policy is approved, we will start relocating all existing towers. New mobile phone towers will also be given space as per the revised policy,” Aggarwal said.
The authority could not implement its 2013 policy because the telecommunication firms went to Allahabad high court and obtained a stay on shifting of mobile phone towers.
“We will submit our revised policy before the court and shift mobile phone towers out of residential areas,” Aggarwal said.