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Residents oppose cell phone tower at Mittapudur Alagapuram

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Facing opposition: The cell tower under construction amid tiled houses in Mittapudur in Salem city. -
Facing opposition: The cell tower under construction amid tiled houses in Mittapudur in Salem city. -

Special Correspondent

People fear that sparrows and parrots will leave the place

SALEM: The residents of Mittapudur Alagapuram here have launched a long and hard-fought battle against the erection of a cell tower in their locality, primarily to save the chirping sparrows and parrots, which they claim have been coexisting with them.

The people, the majority of them labourers, have determinedly resorted to an agitation, not to benefit themselves but to save the birds that flock to their colony and other neighbourhood localities.

Their fear is that once the tower erection is completed and the structure becomes operational, these tiny birds, which have been their source of delight, would desert them.

Hence they strongly object to the tower coming up.

The residents claim that they all live either in thatched or tiled houses, which facilitate these birds to roost and nest.

“Already, only a handful of them can be spotted nowadays. Once the tower is erected, even the few that live here will either fly away or fade out,” says a weaver in the locality.

They say that environmentalists have sensitized them about the ill effects of the signals emitted from these towers, which they claim are not only decimating the small birds such as sparrows but which may also cause health problems to humans as well.

“At a time when we struggle for our simple livelihood, such unwarranted health problems will add to our woes,” says K. Sivakumar who has already submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister in this regard.

Norms

They also claim that the government has laid down stringent norms for the erection of towers in the areas of high density populations as per World Health Organisation's stipulations.

They need to obtain permission for such activities from the local population, it was alleged. The Salem MP has asked the Corporation not to permit tower erection.

“Hence the District administration and Salem Corporation must come forward to stop erecting the cell tower in our locality. If the firm needs to boost its signals, it can share with other players who have already established their towers,” they say.

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