The Madras High Court has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to explore whether erecting mobile towers can be dispensed with. Disposing of a petition by Reliance Jio against the local authorities in Tamil Nadu which had denied permission to erect mobile towers, citing citizens’ protests on grounds of health hazards, The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has observed that it was given to understand that there are different technologies now available in some countries, whereby necessity of erecting towers can be dispensed with by either taking a cable underground or otherwise.
“This is a matter for the Trai to examine. We thus request the said authority to look into this aspect and the possibility of the same in India,” the bench of chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said. The court’s directive to Trai comes at time when the telecom regulator was readying to put in place a new set of service quality benchmarks to check the menace of call drops.
The court, however, said the users of the mobile phones have no right to take the law into their own hands to prevent installation of towers, if there was a valid sanction. The court had ruled that the objections were based on unverified philosophies that the mobile towers may be harmful.