The Municipal Corporation of Delhi will soon be tabling a proposal to introduce a new policy under which cellular service providers would be barred from installing cell phone towers in residential areas.

Also, under the new policy those who have illegally set up cell phone towers would have to apply to the MCD for regularisation failing which the tower would be demolished.

The proposal would be presented before the MCD Standing Committee on Wednesday in the wake of protests from various councillors regarding mushrooming of cell phone towers in the Capital and the perceived “health hazards” thereof.

As per the new policy, apart from non-residential areas permission would be given for setting up these towers on multi-storey buildings as well. For setting up these towers the company will have to pay an installation charge of Rs.1 lakh to the civic agency.

According to an MCD official, a total of 2,517 cell phone towers were set up illegally without taking permission from the civic body and these will now be legalised if they apply for regularisation within six months and meet the criteria, otherwise they would have to be demolished.

The civic agency had also sought World Health Organisation’s opinion on these cell phone towers being hazardous to human health. According to the MCD, WHO has opined that considering the low exposure levels and research results collected to date there is no convincing scientific evidence of an adverse health effect.

Also, for setting up the cell phone towers structural safety certificate will have to be obtained from five institutions – Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi; Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee; Rail India Technical and Economic Services Limited, Delhi; National Council for Building Material, Faridabad; and IIT-Roorkee.

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