Friday, September 20, 2013

Tower of problem:Dot bats for mobile operators

Tower of problem: DoT bats for mobile operators

Saturday, Aug 31, 2013, 9:20 IST | Agency: DNA
Following the demolition of illegal mobile towers in Andheri (West), the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) officials have spoken to the city police chief informing him about the new guidelines.

DoT officials said the move comes after cell phone operators raised questions over the civic body demolishing mobile towers in Andheri (West) despite them meeting radiation norms.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), for the first time, demolished four illegal mobile towers last week. In January 2012, the high court had granted a stay on the removal of mobile towers. The BMC, however, demolished the four saying the stay was on towers of some other service providers.

A senior DoT official, “As per new DoT guidelines, telecom installations are lifeline installations and a critical infrastructure in mobile communication, which is considered as essential service.”

“So, to avoid disruption in mobile communication, the action of sealing of towers or disconnection of electricity may not be resorted to without the consent of the respective TERM Cell of DoT with respect to radiation-related issues,” added the officer.

SS Sirohi, senior deputy director general (security-TERM), said, “Since the guidelines are not marked to them, we informed the police chief about them to avoid any such action in the future by civic authorities. It is to bring in more clarity and avoid disruption of mobile services.”

Sirohi added that the civic body cannot initiate any action on mobile towers as far as radiation-related issues are concerned.

Meanwhile, the Cellphone Operators Association of India (COAI) has submitted a memorandum to the police commissioner asking for a stop on such demolitions.

COAI spokesperson said, “We have given them copies of guidelines and requested them to direct the local police to stop BMC’s demolition action as it is not as per the DoT guidelines.”

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