Telecom companies have placed cellphone towers on trailers or carts with wheels to keep the structures mobile — a trick that makes them easy to move in case civic agencies object to their positioning.
To ensure better network coverage in Lutyens’ Delhi, telecom companies have placed these mobile towers in parking lots, near clubs and hospitals. New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has no information on at least six such towers in its area.
“The Delhi Urban Art Commission forbids installation of cellphone towers in the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone. We realised just now that almost six towers have come up on municipal land in areas like Safdarjung Enclave, Khan Market, Patiala House, Gole Market, Shanker Market and Chanakyapuri. We do not have a policy to place these towers outside a building or on council premises. We have not been given permission for installation of these towers. We will take action against such towers,” a senior NDMC official said.
According to the NDMC Architect department, the policy for allowing telecom towers in the area is that the structure should be inside a building — on the ground floor or rooftop.
“We have 120 mobile towers in our jurisdiction and four are located on school buildings, which are now non-operational. Enforcement department should look out for towers that come up on open land,” the official said.
These movable cellphone towers are a becoming nuisance for civic officials. According to a senior official of South Municipal Corporation, the trick is to keep the structure mobile in case a civic agency objects and levies penalty.
“There are cases that have come to our notice, like movable mobile towers placed on roads that were formerly with the corporation and were recently transferred to PWD. Now, when our licensing department or enforcement department goes to check these illegal towers, it takes months to find out in whose jurisdiction the towers are located. By then, the companies find another place to station the towers,” a senior South corporation official said. Officials are now poring over policies and Acts to find a permanent solution for the issue of movable towers.