The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation began sealing mobile phone towers on Sunday after some of India’s major telecom companies failed to deposit licence fees running into crores with the local body.
A total of 32 towers in the city were sealed today by MC officials including eight in Zone A, nine in Zone B, five in Zone C and 10 in Zone D. As per the database with Ludhiana MC, there are around 890 mobile phone towers in
As per the database with Ludhiana MC, there are around 890 mobile phone towers in city. The number will cross 1,000 if those installed without permission are also included, said an official.
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Speaking to The Indian Express, Ghanshyam Thori, additional commissioner, MC said that as per tentative estimates, a sum of Rs 5 crore is pending against almost 18 telecom companies, which were issued notices by MC to clear their dues or face action.
As per the list of pending dues (a copy of which is with The Indian Express) prepared by the MC, major companies with pending license fee include Aster (Rs 16.8 lakh), Airtel (Rs 22.3 lakh), Bharti Tower (Rs 14 lakh), BSNL (Rs 4.2 lakh), Connect (1.7 lakh), GTL (Rs 17.9 lakh), HUTCH (Rs 23 lakh), INDUS (98 lakh), Spice (13 lakh), Vodafone (85 lakh), and Reliance (1.02 crore).
Thori said that license fee of some telecom companies is pending since 2007. While on Sunday the local body locked the technical rooms of the towers and pasted notices, Thori said that if the companies failed to deposit the fee soon, the MC would be forced to disconnect wires to such towers.
The tentative amount of Rs 5 crore, which is pending as per the MC, also includes rent of next five years apart from outstanding rent. The outstanding rent is around Rs 3 crore.
In the notices issued to telecom companies, the MC has asked them to clear their pending dues. It added that no new request for laying Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) will be entertained until then.
“Our objective is to collect outstanding dues, and not obstruct any telecom service,” said the notice.
“After notices were sent, a few companies have contacted us but the majority are yet to do so,” said Thori. “We have also asked companies to give us exact details of how many towers they have installed in city, as many are unauthorised too.”