The soaring telecom towers, their antennae shooting up into the sky from amid a mass of concrete roofs, have for long been an enduring source of chagrin for residents of Mysuru. Citizens have repeatedly urged the authorities concerned to act against both, the telecom companies and property owners, the latter for allowing the installation of the towers, but to no avail. However, Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) commissioner Shilpa Nag has ordered a survey of towers across the city. The order issued by the civic agency has ignited hope among residents of the towers vanishing from their neighbourhood for good.
“Once we have all the necessary information about telecom towers, we will be able to decide on the course of action to be taken,” Shilpa said.
The MCC commissioner added that owners of a few telecom companies had procured a stay against statutory action by the civic agency. “But, this order is applicable to very few towers. We are collecting details of towers in all zones, and the status of each one will be duly recorded,” Shilpa added.
Meanwhile, the urban development department’s proposal to rid the area falling within a radius of 50m of schools and hospitals of telecom towers continues to hang fire. “The government is yet to issue an order ratifying it. Once the government issues the order, it will become very easy for citizens to voice their concerns. The protracted delay in issuing this order is affecting both local administration, and the public,” said sources in the urban development department.
Meanwhile, MCC officials are furious at many telecom companies for the brazenness with which they have flouted rules, installing towers in locations without obtaining requisite permission. “Firstly, they are paying no tax to the MCC. Secondly, these towers are being set up with no approval being sought from government agencies. The entire process of installation of towers, and charging taxes, can be streamlined once the government issues the order,” said an MCC officer.
JP Nagar resident Heena Ashok Kumar said that it was saddening to see towers shooting up in nearly all areas of the city. Pointing to the scores of towers rising up near schools, Heena said, “Mobile towers are being installed at homes. There are many problems that residents have to suffer because of these towers, including the incessant noise from the diesel-powered generators. It is frustrating to see the MCC and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board take no action.”―Times of India