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
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.