Unauthorized mobile towers scar hill landscpaes

Shimla: Crowding the hill townships skyline in larger numbers each year, the government has failed to regulate mushrooming of mobile towers across the urban landscape even as the authorities refused to fault that the radiation emitted from these towers had any impact on health.

Of the 535 mobile towers erected in Shimla and other cities or towns of the state, 184 of them are illegal, Mohinder Singh, urban development minister state on the Vidhan Sabha floor recently.

With no policy laid out, the 2006 guidelines for putting up a mobile tower have proved inadequate that have led to angst against telephony companies, especially in crowded residential colonies.

There are about 152 towers in Shimla city, many of them in residential areas that are unauthorized, government records show.

“While no mobile company is willing to acknowledge about the health hazards that radiation emitted from these towers poses but the insiders know about it,” says Narender, who has earlier worked with a leading mobile phone company in the city.

Suffering from ill health because of a large numbers of towers close to his farmhouse, K Fazal, a resident of Kotgarh says, “unable to move these towers from close to my family house, I’m trying to relocate as my health has suffered badly ever since these steel structures came up here.”

However, the urban development minister refuted senior congress leader Kaul Singh Thakur’s contention about these towers were a threat to human health by stating that it was still an unsolved issue as there was yet no proof about and bad effects from this technology.

On action taken against the illegality of putting up towers without authorization, Mohinder said that notices had been issued to remove four towers belonging to, BSNL, Vodaphone, Aircel and Reliance companies.

Interestingly, to de-congest the hills from ever increasing number of mobile phone towers, the government in October, 2010 had announced plans of exploring the possibility of replacing the towers with environment friendly tower tube systems, something that has remained on paper only.

Envisaging benefits of the tower tube system, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal after seeing a presentation on the new technology had stated that it was environment friendly and had capability to provide service to large number of mobile users, using renewable solar and wind energy for running its operations.
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As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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