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NDMC releases draft policy to regularise unauthorised cellular towers

The New Delhi Municipal Council has prepared a draft policy to regularise scores of unauthorised cellular towers in Lutyens’ Delhi, officials said on Saturday.

There are around 240 unauthorised cellular towers. Out of these, 140 are located on government buildings and the rest on private buildings, an NDMC official said.

The draft policy aims to modify the rules for the installation of communication towers by cellular and basic telecom operators on rooftops and ground bases within the premises and in the area under the jurisdiction of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

There are four main aspects of the policy — regularisation of unauthorised towers, increase in one-time tower installation fee, renter fee for towers situated on NDMC buildings (no change), and process to install new towers.

The NDMC released the draft policy on Friday and it has sought public comments and suggestions on it.

“We have sought public comments and suggestions on Draft Cellular Tower. We will register their comments for one month and will see if there is a need to make changes. Then the policy will be presented during the NDMC meeting,” the official said.

An NDMC official said many towers are not registered with the agency.

“There is a rule that if you install a tower, you need to register it with the civic body. However, over the years many towers have come up in the NDMC area and permission was not taken from the NDMC,” said the official.

“The telecom company or service provider may apply for regularisation within 30 days of notification of this policy by paying arrears from the date of their existence, failing which the NDMC shall take action against those towers as per policy,” the draft policy document stated.

The mobile towers installed without permission post issuance of this policy may be regularised as per rules along with a penalty of Rs 10,000 per month from the date of installation of the tower.

The policy also proposes to increase the one-time permission charge from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh for five years.

No change has been proposed for the monthly license fee. “A monthly license fee @Rs. 292/- per sq. Ft. Per month plus service tax subject to a minimum of Rs 50,000,” the draft policy mentioned.

For the installation of new towers, the NDMC will invite bids instead of following a “first come basis”.

“NDMC shall e-auction the sites for installation of COWs (Cell on Wheels) in NDMC area on designated places on approved rates initially for three years which may be extended further for two years. The detailed terms and conditions for the installation of COWs in the NDMC area shall be available in concerned bid documents,” the draft policy stated. PTI

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