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COAI Writes To Delhi Municipal Bodies To De-Seal Telecom Towers

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written to various municipal bodies in Delhi to de-seal telecom towers in the region in order to boost mobile services during the lockdown to curb the spread of novel Coronavirus.

“As the coverage area is shrinking due to massive data usage, we, therefore, request you to kindly issue the below necessary directives to your kind office (for) de-sealing of all the existing sealed communication sites on temporary basis at least till state returns to normalcy to enhance coverage to cope up with the current data demand,” COAI said in a letter to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Friday, a copy of which was viewed by Mint.

Similar letters were also sent to New Delhi Municipal Council and East Delhi Municipal Corporation, with the association trying to get telecom towers of operators running to boost coverage and network strength across the city during the lockdown.

“Many towers that municipality comes and seals due to various reasons, like documents not being updated, if fees paid are not reflected in their database. These towers are sealed because removing theses permanently structures was not possible and as the sealing was temporary,” a spokesperson from the telecom association told Mint.

This week, the association has written letters to the Department of Telecommunications, which in turn has also written to chief secretaries of all states and various local bodies, to ensure uninterrupted coverage.

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. The government ordered closure of all transport and places of social contacts, including various factories and offices. However, essential services like telecom, medicine shops and factories, and other essential goods and services were exempt from the lockdown.

So far, 924 patients have been confirmed positive across the country, with 83 patients recovering and 19 dying. Over the last two days the number of cases has sharply accelerated despite the lockdown. Today, 120 new cases were confirmed.


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