Covid lockdown relaxation: Industry needs clarity on resuming construction, installation of new telecom towers

By: |
May 4, 2020 7:58 PM

Tower And Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) Director-General T R Dua said that during the lockdown period so far, telecom tower-related work was primarily focused on operation and maintenance activities and carrying out essential repairs and upgrades.

Covid lockdown relaxation, TAIPA, telecom tower, lockdown period, telecom infrastructure sector, Reliance Infratel,Bharti Infratel, coronavirus outbreakTAIPA has also been urging states to align their policies with the Centre’s ‘Right of Way’ rules, citing surge in data consumption during lockdown when businesses switched to work-from-home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Industry body TAIPA is awaiting clarity on the issue of whether work on construction and installation of new telecom towers can resume, amid significant easing of nationwide curbs aimed at reopening businesses and fuelling India’s economic engines during extended lockdown period till May 17.

Tower And Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) Director-General T R Dua said that during the lockdown period so far, telecom tower-related work was primarily focused on operation and maintenance activities and carrying out essential repairs and upgrades.

“We had written to the telecom department to give immediate clarity on (issue of) construction and installation of towers, which will involve movement of people from one place to another, both interstate and intrastate, and also for allowing access to warehouses where parts are stored… We are awaiting that clarity,” Dua told PTI.

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TAIPA’s members include key players in the telecom infrastructure sector, including Indus Towers Ltd, ATC Group Companies, Bharti Infratel, GTL Infrastructure, Reliance Infratel, Tower Vision, Sterlite Technologies and Space Teleinfra.

Last week, the government announced extension of the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown by two more weeks till May 17, and issued new guidelines permitting different sets of relaxations for green, red, orange zones, thus paving the way for a staggered exit while reopening the economy.

“We are trying to cope with the requirement of telecom service providers…we are trying to augment capacity on the infrastructure side. It is time to allow people to construct new towers so as to meet the additional capacity needs,” Dua said.

TAIPA has also been urging states to align their policies with the Centre’s ‘Right of Way’ rules, citing surge in data consumption during lockdown when businesses switched to work-from-home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Last month, the Association also said it has approached the government for support in ensuring uninterrupted electricity supply and priority connections for telecom towers across the country during the lockdown.

It had then urged the power ministry to advise all the state governments and state electricity companies across the country to ensure availability of uninterrupted electricity supply for telecom tower operations.

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