EDMC to rent out roofs for cell phone towers

Health issues set aside, Corpn aims at more revenue

Even as the debate about the ‘ill-effects’ of electromagnetic radiation on human health rages on, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation is planning to rent out the rooftops of its office buildings to telecom companies for installing cell phone towers.

The corporation has prepared a proposal, which is likely to be tabled for clearance in its House meeting on Tuesday.

According to the proposal, the vacant rooftops of all buildings — barring schools, hospitals and dispensaries — owned by the corporation will be available for installation of mobile towers.

Survey

Officials said a proper survey and identification exercise will be conducted as telecom companies require a minimum of 600 to 800 square feet of space.
“Several buildings owned by the corporation are located in commercial as well as residential areas. The rooftops of most of the buildings are empty, which can be rented out for installation of mobile towers,” said a senior corporation official.
“After trifurcation of the municipal corporation, there is need to exploit all the possible avenues to augment revenue of the civic body,” he added.

“We want to become self-sufficient in funding the ambitious projects announced in budgetary proposals.”

Officials added that allotment of rooftops to telecom companies will be done through open bidding.

“The rooftops will be given on monthly rental basis. Whichever company offers the maximum rent will win the bid,” an official said.

Corporation officials said it will also put a check on illegal installation of cell phone towers in residential colonies.

The three corporations together have about 5,500 mobile towers, of which 2,500 are unauthorised. As per estimates, East Delhi alone has 1,470 cell phone towers, of which 588 are illegal.

Due to growing awareness about the ‘harmful’ radiation emitted from these towers, the civic agencies have received many requests for their removal.

So far, the North Corporation has sealed 17 towers while the East Corporation has sealed 11.

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