HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will crack the whip against mobile phone service providers who have put up illegal cell towers without permission from the civic body.
The corporation has decided to take action against faulty telecom companies like dismantling cell towers if they do not pay Rs one lakh fee and get them regularised immediately. In June, the AP high court, while disposing cases on illegal cell towers, said that the towers should be erected by taking permission from the corporation. After HC verdict, the GHMC town planning wing slapped notices on service providers like Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea, Tata, BSNL and others. A meeting was also conducted with representatives of service providers in June last week and they were asked to submit documents like structural stability certificate and owners’ lease agreement within 10 days. However, even after three months, less than 10 applications were received. “”The corporation will remove cell towers if they do not come forward to regularise the existing 3,400 cell towers,”” GHMC chief city planner GV Raghu told TOI on Monday.
Incidentally, GHMC records show there are only 3,433 cell towers in the city, but there could be another 1,000 more as several new towers have come up in the past two years. Several towers do not have structural stability and were posing danger not only to inmates of buildings where they were erected but also their neighbours. For identifying the existing illegal and new towersGHMC would have to carry out a survey again. Officials estimate that they would get at least Rs 30 crore revenue in form of cell tower fees. As per the survey conducted by the town planning wing in 2010, there were 3,433 cell towers in GHMC limits with highest density (428) towers situated in Circle-10 areas like Khairatabad, Punjagutta, Banjara Hills.
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