Corporation to examine whether phone towers have been set up as per norms

The Ombudsman for Local Self-Government Institutions (LSGIs) has directed the Thiruvananthapuram city Corporation to constitute a committee to conduct a survey to find out whether the mobile phone towers in the city have been set up as per norms or not.

The committee should comprise scientific experts, engineers and officials from the health department. The Corporation should file an action taken report on or before January 31, 2013.

The Ombudsman’s order was based on a petition filed by Thiruvananthapuram Nagara Samrakshana Vedi working president S.J. Jayaram. Mr. Jayaram’s contention before the Ombudsman was that a survey conducted by him had revealed that there were more than 200 mobile phone towers in the city. The city Corporation did not have any records relating to sanctions given for erecting such towers at different locations.

The Corporation submitted to the Ombudsman that it would look into the matter and take steps to either demolish or regularise unauthorised mobile phone towers. The Ombudsman’s order notes that the use of mobile phones is ‘in excess’ and that the ‘number of mobile tower operators is alarmingly increasing day by day and it causes danger…’

The government has prescribed norms for this and both the government and the Corporation should be very careful and watchful as to how many mobile towers are functioning, what is the distance between these towers, to identify where such towers are very close to a hospital or a school, what the density of population is in and around the location of the tower, the strength of the structure on which the tower is located and whether an operator is legally authorised to erect a tower at a particular location.

The first step of the Corporation is to get a study done and the subsequent step is to take action. It goes without saying that when action is contemplated against any person, sufficient time should be given to him to offer explanation, the order notes.

  • Action taken report to be filed before January 31

  • Over 200 towers in the city: petitioner