Following the Centre’s decision to allow installation of mobile towers on cantonment land and government buildings, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) hopes to install 50 new towers within the limits of the Pune Cantonment Board. Rajan S Mathews, director general, COAI, said that another 15 towers would be installed atop government buildings in the area.
Mathews said that around two months back, the Centre had taken the decision to allow installation of towers both in cantonment areas and atop government buildings. The government hopes that this would allow for better coverage and solve the issue of call drops.
Coverage in cantonment areas has always been an issue given the restrictions imposed on installation of towers in the area. Mathews said that want of uniform permission codes makes installation of towers a time consuming affair.
Mathews said that the association has been successful in installing towers atop Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament building too. In Pune, talks have started with all the three cantonment boards, viz Pune, Khadki and Dehu.
Mathews said that local teams of COAI have been in talks with cantonment board officials to work out the modalities. “We hope that the proposals are passed at the local levels and work for installation would take place after that,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) plans to co-install high mast lights and cell towers together. Manish Anand, corporator, said that the Board is in talks with a company which plans to install high mast lights in the area.
“The poles of the high mast lights would also house small towers which would be used by mobile companies. The company would maintain the lights and also pay rental to the KCB,” the corporator said. The KCB plans to install 30 such lights, the proposal for which has been sent to the Defence Ministry for sanction and it would take around 4-5 months for the work to start.