People run for cover as cellphone towers sway menacingly

CUTTACK: Heavy rain accompanied by thunderbolts and gales uprooted many telephone and electric poles and snapping wires in the city late on Monday evening. While many trees were uprooted and branches severed, traffic in many parts was disrupted, spreading panic among city dwellers.

Also, dangerously trembling cellphone towers made up of iron scaffoldings spread panic among residents of nearby areas, making them run for cover.

“Particularly the rooftop mobile towers pose serious threat to the inhabitants of the houses on which they are built as there is possibility of the roof getting severely damaged in any mishap”, said an official of the Cuttack Development Authority (CDA). The CDA is now making a survey to identify the unauthorised mobile towers which have come up in large numbers over these days.

The CDA survey is initiated after a direction by the State High Court which has already expressed serious concern over the mushrooming of such illegal and unsafe structures close to human habitat.

It is estimated that out of nearly 500 mobile towers over 400 are built illegally and without maintaining the safety norms, said the official. As per the direction of the HC, the mobile companies would now take prior permission from the local development agencies before erecting a tower.