Struggling to keep a check on mobile towers being erected illegally on private properties, the PMC has now decided to allow towers for telecommunication to be erected on open land owned by the civic body after the Reliance Gio sought land on lease to set up its 4th generation (4G) wireless broadband network service in the city.
“The civic body never gave permission for towers of telecommunication services to come up on civic land. However, the demand of a private company to set up towers to provide 4G service in the city has made the civic body lease out the required land,” said R T Shinde, PMC land estate officer.
It seems the civic administration realised that there was no harm in leasing out civic plots to set up towers for telecommunication service, he said, adding that land required for each tower was a mere 4-sqm plot and it would be accommodated in any corner of the reserved land of a civic facility like a garden.
As per the demand, the PMC would lease out 300 spots across the city for 30 years. “The policy decision has been taken to erect towers in civic-owned land, but each tower will come up after it receives the building construction department nod,” Shinde said. He added that the department would give its opinion on the proposal for each tower after taking the proposed land into consideration.
“The PMC would ensure that the towers are as per the telecom policy of the Union government. The civic body would follow its property lease policy to lease land for towers and it would only be done by inviting tenders so that interested parties can participate in the bid. The private company would have to identify land and submit a plan,” said Shinde.
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The civic administration decides the lease amount based on the ready reckoner rate, Shinde said, adding the lease would vary for land required for each tower. The civic administration would apply the maximum of the ready reckoner rate for all the towers, which would be increased by 12 per cent every three years.
Standing committee chairperson Bapu Karne said the civic panel gave its nod to the proposal as it would provide new revenue source for the civic body. “The PMC will set the initial lease amount for each tower at Rs 2,820 in the tender so that the bidders can quote their amount. The one giving maximum lease would be able to erect towers on civic land,” he said.
The officials also said that the towers that would come up on civic land would have to follow all the processes that are mandatory for towers on private properties. The proposal, after being approved by the standing committee in haste, has now been tabled before the general body on an urgent basis for final approval.
The civic administration’s decision to allow towers on civic land came after the proposal of the Reliance Gio Infocom Ltd seeking land to erect towers to set up its 4G network in the city. In its proposal, the Reliance Gio ensured that the towers had been designed in a manner that they would look like electric poles. It further said that the towers could also be used to install security cameras for public utility on civic land.