GMADA serves notices over illegal cell towers

Cell TowersOwners of 116 properties failed to seek permission

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 5
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has served notice to owners of 116 commercial, institutional and residential properties in the town for allowing cellular towers to be installed without seeking permission from the estate office. The telecom service providers operating the towers have also been served notices.

After hearing the violators, the estate office has already initiated resumption proceedings against three residential properties. The violators have been given 15 days’ time to explain as to why action should not be initiated against them for erecting towers without securing the requisite permission from GMADA’s estate office.

According to sources, after the notices were served 92 people had applied for the necessary permission. The authority’s norms that permit installation of mobile towers are subject to a number of conditions. However, most of the violators have not bothered to seek the permission.

Following complaints from residential and commercial areas, the estate office found during a survey there were around 116 communication towers, some of which had been set up on school buildings, hospitals and institutional premises.

According to the norms, owners of property in residential areas who intend to install communication towers have to seek the consent of their immediate neighbours. “Rather than giving this consent the neighbours often complain about the health hazard posed by the towers”, said an estate office official.

In some cases safety precautions have not been taken in congested commercial areas. “Mobile towers should not be allowed on hospitals buildings due to their harmful affects. But to earn profit, the property owners often overlook safety norms and also evade government fees,” the official added.

Installation norms

  • Cellular towers are allowed on portion of commercial & industrial institutions and residential premises, outside the prescribed setbacks
  • Structural safety certificate from government institutions required
  • Precautions for fire safety and from lightening
  • NOC from Punjab Pollution Control Board for generator sets installed near tower
  • Tower should be at a safe distance from high-tension power cables
  • Height restriction should be met due to air funnel or due to location of defence installations
  • No towers allowed on listed heritage building

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