The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Salt Lake civic body defies base station order

The controversy continues over the Reliance Infocom project in Salt Lake, with Bidhannagar Municipality deciding to ignore a state government approval for installation of three Base Transmission Stations (BTS) for broadband optical-fibre network.

In a letter dated May 30, 2002, the state had okayed the company’s request for allotment of three plots, measuring 13 metres by 7 metres each, at the BA-CA, AE and CD parks. “The Governor is pleased hereby to approve use of property to the said municipality (Bidhannagar Municipality) located in the said plots to the said company (Reliance Infocom) for the purpose of installation of BTS for broadband optical-fibre network,” the letter stated. It added that the plots “shall be used by the company on the basis of 100 per cent maintenance and ensuring safeguards to environment, ecology, greenery safety and improvement”.

However, the municipality has not allowed Reliance to use the parks for the purpose. “There is a Supreme Court ban on constructions in parks and playgrounds. The government order cannot supersede the apex court order,” Dilip Gupta, chairman of the municipality, told Metro. “We have taken a decision in the board meeting that Reliance must identify three buildings for the purpose. Thereafter, alongwith a request from the company, the landlord will submit a revised plan for such constructions and if that is found flawless, the municipal authorities will sanction the plan as per rules,” Gupta added.

Gupta’s claims that the municipality has not taken over the parks and playgrounds from the urban development department is contradicted by the Governor’s letter, which states that “the parks are under the jurisdiction of the municipality”.

The opposition Trinamul Congress raised an uproar during Wednesday’s board meeting on the issue. Trinamul councillor Sabyasachi Dutta alleged that the municipality was coming in the way of industrial development of the state. “When the government has given the green signal, why is the municipality bothered'” he asked.

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