With over a million people using cell phones in India, there is a constant need to install more and more cell phone towers to increase network coverage and battle call drops. With urbanisation occurring in leaps and bounds, spaces to install a cell phone tower is also reducing. Therefore, one of the options left for mobile tower installation is the rooftops of high rise buildings. However, installation of a mobile tower is not a simple task where the property owner can one fine day decide to install a tower or towers.
The first point to remember is tower installation is NOT illegal in residential areas. However, if there are lack of site options, a tower can be installed in a residential area. Also it is important to note that if a tower must be installed in a residential area, it should only be on rooftops of buildings. Even then, the preference to install shall be at open spaces or public buildings. Only when such options have been exhausted, shall a tower be installed on the roof of a purely residential building.
Forests or open lands are the most preferred areas for mobile tower installation. In such cases, cordoning off the area around the tower is advisable to ensure humans or animals are incapable of entering within the perimeter boundaries.
Something as vital as mobile tower installation cannot be done without following proper documentation and policies. The installation of a mobile tower must be done only after a clear permission from the sanctioning authority. Even government mobile towers must follow proper protocol before installation.
A sanctioning authority can be any of the following office bearers : Commissioners of Municipal Corporations, the Commissioners of City Municipal Councils, Chief officer of Town Municipal Councils, Town Panchayats, Panchayat Development Officers of Gram Panchayat falling in Urban Development Authority areas.
While preparing documents, it is also important to know what exactly encompasses a mobile tower – Ground Based Tower, Roof Top Tower, Roof Top Poles, Cell Phone Tower, Antenna Fixtures, Fabricated Antenna, Tower to install telephone lines, Transmission Towers, Cell On Wheels, In Building solutions and Micro Sites.
Following is a list of documents that need to be submitted to get approval for a mobile tower installation:
- Location Plan along with surrounding establishments. It is illegal to install towers near schools and hospitals.
- Site Plan showing complete dimensions of plot, number and height of structures and access to plot.
- Structural Stability Certificate from a certified structural engineer with the height of the towers. The building should be able to withstand the load of the mobile tower.
- Copy of sanctioned plan of the building and legitimate occupancy certificate.
- Ownership documents.
- Lease Agreement showing both parties (applicant and building owner) have agreed to the installation.
- Drawing of tower detailing foundation and designing parameters.
- Height of the tower along with elevation details.
- In case of high or low tension electrical wiring around proposed site, documentation detailing of the distance between tower and lines is mandatory.
- Tower weight in metric tonnes.
- Indemnity bond accepting responsibility of accidents caused through this installation and a promise to make necessary compensation where required.
- A no objection certificate from the fire department.
- Copies of all necessary documents proving compliance with Environment (protection) Act, 1986.
- Copy of Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocations clearance along with an undertaking that in the event of problems arising corrective measures to be taken or tower is to be removed.
- Acknowledgement receipts from TERM cells or any equivalent body certifying all surrounding public areas are within safe Electromagnetic Radiation exposure.
The permit for installation of tower should be sanctioned within 30 days. Construction is to be completed in two years. In case of incompletion, the permit can be renewed provided it is applied before the expiry of the original permit and in return for a fee. Within three months of mobile tower installation, they must feature in the official gazette. Failing such a step will warrant demolition of the tower.
There are two schools of thoughts regarding the health hazards from mobile towers.
There are research to show an increased diagnosis of cancer among individuals who have been exposed to radiation from mobile phone towers. At the same time, there are research to show the shadow zone does not receive as much radiation as claimed. When installing a mobile tower, it is always advisable to do thorough research in this aspect.
For more details on this read How to Protect your Apartment from Hazardous Cell Phone Tower Radiations?
Miscellaneous Things To Remember
- Do not fall for scams claiming money to install mobile towers. Installation is free of cost. Meet a legitimate provider and discuss rental and lease plans.
- Lighting conductors on the tower are a must.
- Providing proper warning and aviation lights.
- Proper agreements and sanctions for site sharing among multiple network providers.
- Proper accessory rooms (not exceeding 15 square metres) and sound proof electric generators.
To know more in detail about mobile tower installation in your apartment complex, read up here.