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UP govt bars authorities from charging telecom operators for mobile towers

In a significant move, the state government has barred Ghaziabad Development Authority, Noida Authority, Greater Noida Authority and Yamuna Expressway Authority from collecting charges from telecom operators for installing mobile towers on private land.

Citing the Indian Telegraph Act rules, the government has directed the authorities to stop collecting annual charges from the operators from now on. The move is expected to dent the coffers of the authorities by Rs 4-5 crore annually. The two districts have about 4,000 operational mobile towers at present.

In June, DIPA (digital infrastructure providers association) had raised the issue before chief secretary and pointed out that the additional charges being levied by the authorities is delaying roll out of 5G services in UP NCR. The authorities in the two prime NCR districts had framed their own rules and by-laws to collect charges from private property owners in contravention to the Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, framed by department of telecommunications.

Moreover, Noida and Greater Noida industrial development authorities earlier this year had started serving notices to private property owners who had allowed installation of mobile towers in the past.

Pointing out towards violation of the terms and conditions mentioned in the lease deed Noida Authority threatened to cancel the allotment of plots of such individuals.

The authorities in the two districts were taking Rs 25,000 as annual charges from the property owners even though the rules framed by Centre and state government’s telecom policy stated that Rs 10,000 could be taken annually as fixed charges.

DIPA director general TR Dua said: “We have received a lot of rejection orders from Noida and Ghaziabad development authorities stating that towers are not permitted to be installed in residential areas. High charges levied by authorities is hampering creation of robust telecom infrastructure in UP particularly in UP NCR.”

Principal secretary of the infrastructure and industrial department and IT department Anil Kumar Sagar on September 19 issued an order for the authorities in the two districts to stop levying annual charges on private properties which have mobile towers. ToI

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