Friday, August 01, 2014
Protest against bid to set up mobile phone tower
Attempt by a private telecom company to set up mobile phone towers in a thickly populated area in the city has kicked up a row once again.
Barely a month after the Kozhikode Corporation aborted the attempt to set up a tower at Eranhipalam, it is now the residents of Kottuly who are fighting against a tower in their locality.
The plot beside the CPI(M) office on Pipeline Road at Kottuly has been leased to a private telecom company that has already laid the foundations for a tower in it. Ironically, it is being built flouting the rules concerning its distance from residential areas. “The law that prevents construction of mobile phone towers within 200 m of any residential area has been openly flouted. The residents have come together and submitted a petition to the Corporation to stop the construction immediately,” said Praveen C.K., chairman of a committee set up to fight against the tower.
The telecom company, which has acquired permission from the Central government to set up 130 towers in different parts of the city, does not need the permission of the Corporation to go ahead with the construction. The Corporation’s powers are limited to giving fitness certificate to a building that would support the tower.
Local people are apprehensive about the harmful effects of radiation the tower would allegedly cause. Anita Rajan, councillor of the Kottuly ward, said the company concerned had not approached the Corporation for any sort of permission, as the tower was being built on land and not on top of any building. “However, the Corporation has powers to intervene when laws are flouted openly,” she said, and added that the Corporation would act upon the petition filed by the local people.
The committee is planning to launch a campaign against the tower and also to create awareness of the harm the tower could supposedly cause, among the residents.