GHMC to issue notices to cellphone firms to take necessary permission

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is getting ready to issue notices to the various cellphone firms with towers to take permissions by submitting necessary documents and fees.

Documents, include the owners lease agreement, drawings and the structural stability certificate. Installation fee is Rs.1 lakh as decided by the government a couple of years ago when it made taking permissions for towers mandatory. The issue was put on the backburner once the cellphone firms objected to the fee and obtained stay orders against the municipal corporation demand for an installation fee.

But, the latest HC directive clearly stating that permissions should be obtained for cell towers installation has come as the shot in the arm for the civic officials to dust the files and initiate moves to rein in the firms. As per the civic body’s records there are nearly 3,400 cell towers though it is widely believed to double the number, if not more.

“We will soon be calling the cellphone companies for a meeting so that the modalities of taking permissions for the new towers can be discussed. Permits for the old towers can also be given retrospectively, provided they fulfil the conditions put by the HC and the government,” explained Additional Commissioner (Planning & Projects) K. Dhananjaya Reddy.

Efforts will also be initiated see that the 85-odd stay orders obtained by the cellphone firms are bunched together and vacated at the earliest.

GHMC had not given any consent towards installing any new towers for the last four years or so ever since an apartment building in Kapra had developed cracks because of a roof-top cell phone tower and subsequent HC orders. It had also roped in five technical consultants like the OU College of engineering, CBIT, MJ, JNTU and Civil Aid to help study the structural stability.

The Rs. 1 lakh fee was for study and for taking the official permit. The response, however, was poor then and the civic body too forgot about it save for an attempt in between by the previous Mayor B. Kartika Reddy to resurrect the issue besides also asking the cellphone firms to obtain radiation clearance from the A.P. Pollution Control Board (APPCB).