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Permit leash on phone towers

Ranchi’s civic guardians have found a way to stem the capital’s towering trouble.

In a public notice issued on Wednesday, the RMC has asked all cellular service providers to seek clearance for their mobile towers by September 18 or face demolition.

RMC public relations officer Naresh Kumar Sinha said that at least 280 radiation-emitting towers were functioning without permission and these would be branded illegal if they failed to seek approval within the fixed deadline.

“According to our survey, there are as many as 311 towers in the RMC area. Of these, only 31 have obtained the mandatory permission to operate. The rest will have to do so by September 18. Else, they will black listed and may also be pulled down,” Sinha added.

Powers invested in civic bodies by the Jharkhand Municipality Act, 2011, say that the RMC can allow cellular operators to set up mobile towers. The permit needs to be renewed every year for a fee of Rs 10,000.

Before the act came into force in February 2012 and was notified in the state gazette, the same powers lay with the Ranchi Regional Development Authority (RRDA).

“Some mobile operators may have taken permission from the regional agency. However, they need to renew the approval from RMC now. Head offices of many of these cellular companies are outside Ranchi and whenever we call meetings, their representatives do not come. So, a public notice has been issued. We hope they will respond,” Sinha said.

Meanwhile, the civic body team, constituted to collect data on radiation from mobile towers across the city, has covered 23. “Yesterday (Tuesday), we submitted data of 23 towers to BIT-Mesra. The latter will analyse the data and give us a report,” said an RMC engineer.

A hand-held spectrum analyser, worth Rs 15 lakh, was procured from a company in Calcutta for the purpose. On August 14, the tech cradle had trained the engineers of RMC on device basics.

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