Cellphone towers operating illegally

Over 500 mobile towers in the areas under the East Corporation are functioning illegally and it has led to the loss of revenue to the civic agency.

There are 563  towers operating without adequate approval under  East Delhi Municipal Corporation. Of which, 148 towers are in Shahdara (North) and 415 in Shahdara (South).

A senior official in the east civic agency said hundreds of towers have not renewed their contractswhich were given to them under the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

According to the figure provided by the civic agency, 835 towers were given permission to operate under the unified MCD. Of which, 352 towers are in Shahdara (North) zone and 483 towers in Shahdara (South) zone.

The Revenue Department received Rs 15.5 lakh licence fee from telecom companies owning the towers in 2012-13 and the revenue earned from these towers declined to Rs 7.8 lakh in 2013-14. Till 2010, every mobile tower had to pay Rs 5 lakh per annum as the fee. Prior to that, the fee was Rs 1 lakh.

No illegal mobile tower has been sealed in Shahdara (North) zone by the civic agency, while only 41 such towers have been sealed and 398 others have been booked for legal action in Shahdara (South).

The issue was discussed in the standing committee meeting of the civic agency. Councillors from both the ruling and opposition parties said the corporation has lost lakhs of rupees due to the mushrooming of such illegal mobile towers.

Councillors had put forward certain questions on the illegal towers, but the answers provided by the corporation are misleading and incomplete, said Usha Devrani Shastri, a councillor form Karawal Nagar East who raised the matter in the meeting.

In total, there are 1,398 mobile towers in the area under the East Corporation. Of which, 500 such towers are operational in Shahdara (North) zone and 898 towers in Shahdara (South) zone.

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