Sunday, April 3, 2016

Signal woes? Building bylaws bar mobile towers in residential areas

NEW DELHI: The new unified building bylaws that may make it easier to obtain permits could worsen signal problems for mobile phone users.
The new bylaws say there should be no mobile phone towers in residential areas.
This has led to confusion among the municipal corporations as almost 80% of such towers are believed to be in residential areas.
“No signage/communication tower and advertisement is to be provided in residential buildings,” the bylaws state.
Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu released the new unified building bylaws for Delhi on Tuesday. Apart from simplifying procedures, these have reduced public-official interaction to reduce corruption.
“Going by the new bylaws, there should be no mobile towers in residential areas. Considering that only 20% of the total mobile towers fall in non-residential areas, this may lead to cellular problems,” said a high-ranking municipal official. Officials said they would either wait for an order from the high court in an ongoing case or approach the Centre for clarification.
Mobile phone operators approached the high court in 2010 after the corporation changed its policy regarding the establishment of such towers. The case is still pending. “A lot of things have to be kept in mind while implementing the bylaws. They might require certain modifications so that the public is not hassled,” said Ashish Sood, leader of the house, South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Technical experts say call drops occur due to an increase in the number of dead zones. These zones are a result of either fewer mobile towers in range or due to hindrance in the signal. Towers have a range of 5 km . You lose signal when you are either out of range or in a ‘dead zone’.
The three municipal corporations say the total number of mobile towers under their jurisdiction is 7,926.
Officials, however, argue that the total number of unauthorised towers are more than half of that.
“The total number of mobile towers before trifurcation was 5,252. However, the number has increased exponentially in the past three years near residential areas,” said a municipal official.
Officials argue that while most new towers violate building bylaws, for others, the corporation has not been paid.

with thanks : Hindustan Times : Dated 3rd April, 2016

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