Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation shelves plan to install cell towers in parks, playgrounds
By S Bachan Jeet Singh | Express News Service | Published: 27th January 2018 02:51 AM |
HYDERABAD: Fearing a backlash from the citizens, environmentalists, sportspersons and other activists, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has dropped its plan to install cell phone towers in its 785 public parks and 526 playgrounds. Instead, these will be set up in open spaces and at properties belonging to the civic body.To raise the corporation’s revenue, city mayor Bonthu Rammohan had announced sometime ago that cell towers would be erected in GHMC parks, playgrounds, open spaces and properties.
As per the government orders issued on August 5, 2015, it clearly mentions that there are restrictions to erect telecommunication infrastructure towers (TIT) in parks, playgrounds, public open spaces, water bodies, railway premises, electrical lines. airport, defence establishments, oil gas pipelines, heritage structures, etc. The GHMC will approach the government after taking the approval of the standing committee which will meet next week as well as of the general body to install cell towers in open spaces and GHMC properties.
At a meeting held last month, it was decided to take approval from the government to permit the GHMC to enter into a memorandum of agreement with cell tower agencies, companies for installation of TITs, roof-top towers (RTT) and ground-based towers (GBT), roof-top poles (RTP), cell phone towers (CPT), antenna fixtures, fabricated antenna in GHMC’s open lands and properties other than parks and playgrounds.
Sources said GHMC wanted to focus on cell towers across the city to generate revenues. It has been losing revenue on cell towers to the tune of `80 crore to `100 crore annually. It is collecting property tax on only 500-odd cell towers whereas there are about 6,000 cell towers across the city.
Six-lane separator from Aram Ghar to Zoo mooted
The civic body has proposed another six-lane, steel grade separator (flyover) on the busy Aramghar to Zoo park under SRDP at a cost of around `636.80 crore. The grade separator has become the need of the hour as the stretch is one of the busiest in city with vehicular traffic assessed at between about 1.25 lakh PCU per day.