With the telecom companies in the winter capital making efforts to increase their subscriber base by installing more base transceiver stations (BTS), there has been a mushrooming growth of mobile towers in the residential areas of the city.
Some of the companies have even bypassed the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) to get the required permission for setting up mobile towers. However, the corporation is watching as a “mute spectator”.
Mobile towers on roof tops in many residential areas of the city has become a common sight.
Sources said few years ago, amid reports of alleged installation of mobile towers without proper permission in the residential areas of Jammu, the government had issued strict instructions to the authorities concerned to dismantle illegal mobile towers.
The order, however, made a little difference as neither the government nor the JMC followed it, the sources said.
As a result, number of mobile towers of private telecom companies kept on increasing. The big and small towers can be seen installed on houses in Jewel, Canal Road, Trikuta Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Channi Himmat and Narwal areas of the winter capital.
Sources claimed that more than 300 BTS of various cellular companies had been set up in the city.
Around 150 new mobile towers were recently set up by various companies to strengthen their network in the state. At present, there are around 40 lakh cell phone users in J&K.
“For installing a mobile tower in a residential area it is mandatory, both for the telecom firm and the individual, to publish a notice in the local daily and attain a no objection certificate from the authority concerned under whose jurisdiction the area is located,” a source said.
“The JMC officials have sealed some illegal mobile towers in various parts of the city, but it is just a tip of the iceberg, many such towers are still intact,” the source added.
Joint Commissioner (Administration), JMC, RS Jamwal, however, told that illegal mobile towers installed in the city were sealed.
“Most of the telecom firms are following the norms to set up base transceiver stations in residential areas,” said Jamwal.
When asked about how these telecom firms managed to bypass the authorities concerned to set up towers in residential areas, Jamwal said: “It is a matter of concern, but our officials are keeping a close check on the situation. If any illegal or faulty tower is found, it is being sealed.”