Now, Tel­cos Stopped from Set­ting Up Tow­ers in Delhi

Lat­est govt dik­tat comes at a time when tel­cos are be­ing pulled up for call drops; they fear the or­der could be ex­panded to other cities as well Min­istry of ur­ban de­vel­op­ment’s move to hit mo­bile phone & data ser­vices in the cap­i­tal

The Economic Times - - Companies - Anan­dita.Manko­tia@ times­group.com

New Delhi: Mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties in Delhi have stopped giv­ing clear­ances to tele­com op­er­a­tors to set up tow­ers fol­low­ing a gazette no­ti­fi­ca­tion by the min­istry of ur­ban de­vel­op­ment dis­al­low­ing such sites in res­i­den­tial ar­eas, a move that may af­fect mo­bile phone and data ser­vices in parts of the na­tional cap­i­tal. “We have learnt that the au­thor­i­ties are in the process of is­su­ing no­tices for pulling down the sites in res­i­den­tial ar­eas,” Ra­jan Mathews, di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Cel­lu­lar Op­er­a­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia, told ET.

Tele­com sec­re­tary JS Deepak wrote to Ra­jiv Gauba, his coun­ter­part in the ur­ban de­vel­op­ment min­istry, on April 4 seek­ing an amend­ment to the gazette no­ti­fi­ca­tion dated March 22 “im­me­di­ately so that it does not re­sult in im­pos­ing re­stric­tions on in­stal­la­tion of mo­bile tow­ers” in res­i­den­tial ar­eas or res­i­den­tial build­ings in Delhi. Gauba joined of­fice on April 1.

In­dus­try ex­perts said the no­ti­fi­ca­tion, if im­ple­mented, will crip­ple tele­com servi- ces in the cap­i­tal as 80-90% of about 18,000 sites may be af­fected.

Although the no­ti­fi­ca­tion ap­plies only in the na­tional cap­i­tal, the in­dus­try fears the or­der could be ex­panded and im­ple­mented in other cities and towns, which could spell dis­as­ter for tele­com ser­vices and op­er­a­tors.

In his let­ter, the tele­com sec­re­tary con­tended that the ur­ban de­vel­op­ment min­istry has no ju­ris­dic­tion over this mat­ter.

“As per al­lo­ca­tion of Busi­ness Rules of Cen­tral Govern­ment, the sub­ject mat­ter of telegraph falls un­der ju­ris­dic­tion of de­part­ment of tele­com,” Deepak said, as­sert­ing that the is­sue of in­stalling tow­ers comes purely un­der the tele­com min­istry.

The let­ter ex­plains that telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions has been recog­nised the world over as an im­por­tant tool for so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment of a na­tion. It has be­come a core in­fras­truc­ture re­quired for rapid growth and mod­erni­sa­tion of var­i­ous sec­tors and tele­com tow­ers are crit­i­cal for pro­vid­ing mo­bile con­nec­tiv­ity in res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

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