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BDA earns telecom players' wrath over clampdown

Bangalore, Jan 17, 2013, DHNS: 0:44 IST
The BDA has issued notices to property owners for allowing mobile towers on their buildings.
 The Bangalore Development Authority, which issued notices to owners of the buildings for erecting mobile signal towers, is now facing the heat from telecom companies.

On December 10, local assistant executive engineer of the BDA issued a notice to Mahadevaiah, a resident of Nagadevanahalli for allowing setting up of a tower on his residential building.

The Authority had asked Mahadevaiah to furnish documents to substantiate that he had been permitted to operate a commercial structure on his residential property, within seven days. Mahadevaiah then approached Reliance Infratel Limited to provide copies of the necessary permissions taken by them.

In the meantime, taking the Mahadevaiah case as a precedence, the BDA issued notices to some more property owners who allowed towers on their buildings. Baffled by the action, the owners informed their respective telecom companies, which have now started to threaten the BDA with legal notices. One such legal notice to the BDA is in possession of Deccan Herald.

Advocate B J Mahesh, on behalf of Indus Towers Limited has said that his client is an infrastructure provider by virtue of registration granted by the Department of Telecommunication, Ministry of Communication and IT, Government of India. He added that the firm is a licensee under Section 4 of the Indian Telegraph Act, duly authorised to operate the services in the Karnataka Telecom circle.

The Indus Tower Limited stated that the installation of mobile towers cannot be construed as or treated on a par with a construction of any building. Citing a High Court judgement, it was stated that the establishing a mobile tower cannot be considered classified as “commercial usage” and consequently the requirement of seeking permission from the BDA is a moot point.

Senior police and Town Planning officers, said that according to town planning provisions, individual “residential properties” are limited to below 50 feet in height.

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