Center asks chief ministers to permit mobile towers on govt buildings

The Center has asked the chief ministers of every state in India to let mobile towers be installed on government buildings under their authority. The step has been taken to reduce the incidence of call drops occurring due to a lack of such towers in various areas.

The government recently passed a decree permitting cell towers to be set up on municipal sites as a way to counteract the problem. The communications ministry then proceeded to write to all the chief ministers in India. Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad explained that if allowed, the action would help boost the coverage and capacity of network operators and help alleviate the call drop issue.

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He went on to express his views on anti-radiation protests that have prevented mobile towers from being constructed in residential areas due to the perceived harmful effect it could have on humans and animals. According to him, such fears are baseless as the World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted a thorough study on the problem and found the radiation emitted from these installations are not unsafe.

He asserted that such campaigns are the reason why the Department of Telecom (DoT) and the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) have allowed towers to be set up on government buildings. Prasad wasn’t entirely on the side of private telecom companies though, saying they must invest in their own infrastructure in order to improve their technology. He thinks the operators should focus on people and not on themselves.

Also See: Government to conduct special audit of mobile networks over call drop issue

PTI reports that network providers have been asked to file weekly reports to the DoT on the steps taken to reduce call drops. They’ve also been asked to improve the situation in the worst-affected places such as New Delhi immediately.