The Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA) on Monday said its member tower companies are facing coercive actions from the Noida Authority in Uttar Pradesh for deploying towers in residential areas.
The association, which represents companies like Indus Towers, ATC, Ascend Telecom, Summit Digitel Infrastructure, among others, said that such rejections by Noida Authority are not in line with the government’s recently amended Telegraph Right of Way (RoW) Rules, 2016.
The RoW permissions, which are dealt at the state levels, are essential for telecom service providers to lay towers, cables, and other telecom infrastructure. In order to make way for faster and easy deployment of telecom infrastructure, the government introduced GatiShakti Sanchar Portal last year, a centralised portal for all RoW permissions.
“It is imperative that the NOIDA authority understands the importance of communication infrastructure and allows operations without any coercive action,” said Tilak Raj Dua, director general of DIPA in a letter to Durga Shanker Mishra, chief secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh.
In the letter, Dua urged the chief secretary to intervene immediately and provide support to the landlords whose properties are being directed to be sealed and taken away by the authorities just because the landlords allowed the installation of communication sites.
“We also request for the support in convincing the NOIDA authority about the importance of communication infrastructure and the need to allow its operations without any coercive action,” Dua added.
DIPA has also urged the Noida Authority to withdraw any cancellation notices issued to the landlords, amend their rules in line with Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules 2016, and allow communication sites in residential areas.
Collectively, member tower companies of DIPA have so far installed over 740,000 telecom towers supporting around 1.2 billion subscribers and telecommunication connectivity in the country, DIPA said.
In March, DIPA said that the tower companies were also facing hurdles to deploy telecom infrastructure for 5G services. The reasons cited by the organisation for such issues were non-alignment of 5G rollout policy by discoms, the absence of facility for laying small cells in bulk through right-of-way(RoW) permission, and some states still yet to comply with the Centre’s RoW policy.