HYDERABAD: Two more cellphone towers were removed at Fatehnagar on Thursday by civic officials following complaints of radiation from locals.
On Wednesday, two cellphone towers were removed by the officials of the town planning wing of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on a complaint by Sardar Patel House Owners Society of Fatehnagar. They alleged that a woman died of cancer due to electromagnetic radiation emitted by the cellphone towers.
Also, several cellphone towers do not have structural stability. With weak structures, there were incidents of either buildings developing cracks or collapsing due to weight of the towers.
The GHMC had served notices on all operators a few months ago on the AP High Court's directions to regulate rooftop cellphone towers. There are nearly 2,800 cell towers in the GHMC area. Of them, 1,154 cellphone towers were erected on building rooftops, with 50 being ground-based, remaining 1,791 were rooftop poles.
Telecom giant Airtel has the highest number of cellphone towers with 432 towers, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) 241, Tata 218, Vodafone 120 towers, Idea 30 and Reliance 55.
GHMC officials said rooftop cellphone towers were of concern as they carry weight and structural stability was required for them.
After a building developed cracks in Kapra and High Court directions, the GHMC stopped giving permissions to erect cellphone towers in the city.
"New permissions for cellphone towers were stopped in February 2008. Towers which were erected in the last 10 years are being checked," GHMC chief city planner B Purushottam Reddy told TOI.
The GHMC gave telecom operators time till January 31, 2009, to give structural stability certificate and drawings, building owners' agreement copy, no objection certificate from neighbours and surrounding areas and other documents.
For checking structural stability, seven agencies__Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Osmania University Engineering College, Vasavi Engineering College, Chaitanya Bharati Institute of Technology (CBIT), Matrusri College of Engineering, M J College of Engineering and Civil Aid__were enlisted by the corporation.
For checking the cell towers, the operators were asked to pay Rs 25,000 for each tower. According to GHMC officials, Airtel has not paid the required Rs 25,000 per each tower and BSNL paid only part amount and rest have paid the required amount.
"Every agency was entrusted 60 towers initially. The process of checking structural stability is on," GHMC superintending engineer Mohd Abdul Rahman told TOI.