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Friday, October 30, 2020

Finally, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation pulls down mobile tower in Fragrance Garden

Residents had been protesting against its installation for over a year

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | September 29, 2020 11:04:31 am
The mobile tower site in Fragrance Garden in Sector 26, Chandigarh. Express

Almost after over a year and a half, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation pulled down the mobile tower that had come up in Fragrance Garden, Sector 26, which residents had been protesting against.

The Indian Express had reported last year how the mobile tower had come up even though the UT estate office had not given permission for its 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 last year, seeking action as the company setting it up did not have permission.

The residents, who ran the campaign against the tower citing environmental and health hazards, were elated over the move.

“After 15 months, our efforts have paid off. The illegal mobile tower in the Fragrance Garden is no more,” said Aditya Vikram, a local resident.

The residents had complained last year that the tower came up on the intervening night of March 14 and 15, 2019. They had also met MC Commissioner K K Yadav stating that there was a school within 100 yards of the site. While objecting to 70-ft tower, they had cited “extensive damage due to radiation to people and damage to trees”. They had even complained to the vigilance department, which in turn had asked the municipal commissioner to probe the matter.

The campaign was run by a number of locals, including Vineesh Kumar, Dr Harkamal Sharma, Aditya Vikram and Manav who had in their complaint to the vigilance department even quoted that when a few residents asked the workers for authority/approval letter and environmental clearance, they found that they didn’t have any of the approvals.

On May 29 last year, a letter issued by SDO (Buildings) from the Assistant Estate Office to additional commissioner, MC, had 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.” The estate office had also said that no permission was given by them to the company.

However, the telecom company had stated that the NOC was granted by the chief engineer, MC, on July 29, 2019, as per memo no. 5189.

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