HYDERABAD: Risking the lives of thousands in the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) are 324 unauthorised telecom towers installed on the rooftop of residential and commercial properties, found a survey conducted by the SCB authorities. Each tower is apparently letting the owner earn anywhere between `15,000 and `60,000 a month, illegally, as rent.
The telecom towers are spread across 134 locations in SCB’s 42-kilometre jurisdiction, without proper clearance or permissions. Apart from denting the revenue of the SCB, the illegal towers are also posing a hazard threat to the locals with the radiation they emanate, say residents.
Contrary to the officials’ assertions, the residents are of the opinion that the towers were installed in residential areas with the support of SCB authorities. It may be mentioned that as per the Cantonment Act, telecom companies have to take permission or a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Cantonment Board before building towers. But the survey conducted by SCB officials says another story.
“The authorities of SCB’s engineering wing had conducted the survey. They found that the installation of the telecom towers are in a haphazard manner, considering the layout of the SCB. A lot of these towers are concentrated in a particular place and it is causing inconveniences to the public,” said Joint Chief Executive Officer of SCB Ramswaroop Haritwal.
Taking cognisance of the complaints pouring in, the authorities have decided to crack a whip on the erring property owners as well as the telecom network companies. “We have already collected the required data and are preparing to issue show-cause notices to these companies,” said Haritwal.
Meanwhile, Telukuntia Satish Gupta, general secretary of the Confederation of Cantonment Residents Welfare Association (CCRWA), alleged that the SCB authorities have turned a blind eye towards the illegal towers.
“The SCB’s engineering wing does not even allow us to construct a make-shift structure. But for installation of cell phone towers, the norms are somehow different,” said Gupta and alleged that installations were proof of an agreements between telecom companies and property owners.