Municipal Corporation Commissioner K K Yadav has ordered civic officials to procure documents pertaining to a mobile tower that has come up in Fragrance Garden, Sector 26, even though the UT estate office has not yet given permission for the installation.
A No Objection Certificate (NOC) had been issued by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for the mobile tower two months after the UT estate office had written to the additional commissioner, MC, in May this year, seeking action as the company setting it up did not have permission. Residents, who have opposed the tower to the hilt citing environmental and health hazards, claim that the tower came up much before that — on the intervening night of March 14 and 15.
On May 29, a letter issued by SDO (Buildings) from the Assistant Estate Office to additional commissioner, MC, said: “The feasibility of the site has been given by chief architect, UT Chandigarh. However, permission to install at the site has not been approved or granted by this office. The NOC from land owners is also required as per mobile tower policy dated March 9, 2015. You are therefore requested to take necessary action in the matter.”
Commissioner Yadav told Chandigarh Newsline, “If they don’t have the permission, we will take action.”
Residents of the area also met Yadav last week and expressed their concerns that there was a school within 100 yards of the site.
Asked whether any permission had been granted post the NOC issued by the municipal corporation, UT Assistant Estate Officer Manish Lohan told Chandigarh Newsline, “No permission has been given by the estate office for this mobile tower.”
According to the telecom company, the NOC was granted by the chief engineer, MC, on July 29, 2019, as per memo no. 5189.
The feasibility of the site is given by the chief architect and according to the chief engineer, MC, it was after feasibility was approved that they issued the NOC. However, the chief engineer clarified: “It is the estate office that is to give the final nod as they are the land owners.”
Objecting to the 70-ft tower, residents cited, “extensive damage due to radiation to people and well as damage to trees.” They had even complained to the vigilance department, which in turn had asked the municipal commissioner to probe the matter.
Residents Vineesh Kumar, Dr Harkamal Sharma, Aditya Vikram, Manav had in their complaint to the vigilance department said, “The whole exercise of erecting the mobile tower was done in the most clandestine manner. The tower was erected on the night of March 14/15 when the residents were asleep. On the morning of March 15, when a few residents asked the workers for authority/approval letter and environmental clearance, we found that they didn’t have any of the approvals. They also damaged quite a few trees in the process. The impact on several species of birds will also be very grave, as has been shown in several studies across the world.”