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Illegal towers: HC reserves order on cell operators plea on fee hike

The Delhi High Court today reserved its order on a petition filed by mobile telephone operators challenging the MCD`s decision to hike fee for installing towers from Rs one lakh to Rs five lakh.



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today
reserved its order on a petition filed by mobile telephone
operators challenging the MCD`s decision to hike fee for
installing towers from Rs one lakh to Rs five lakh.

Justice Kailash Gambhir said he would pass an
appropriate order as MCD and the operators failed to reach at
a settlement.

After hearing arguments from both the sides earlier in
the day, the judge asked them to find an amicable solution and
inform the court by evening.

Appearing for the operators, senior advocate Sandeep
Sethi told the court that although MCD had claimed that it was
a regulatory fee, but no benefit was attached to it.

Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathy while
arguing for MCD submitted that the agency was concerned about
the health related issues due to radiation and towers being
illegally installed as they failed to comply with the building
by-laws.

He claimed that it was one time permission fee charged
from the operators and it was regulatory but not compensatory.

The High Court had on May 13 restrained the civic body
from sealing illegal mobile phone towers in the capital after
the mobile operators challenged the decision of the MCD to
hike the charges.

The mobile operators had contended that the decision
of the MCD was "arbitrary" and without any sound basis.

The MCD had started the sealing of illegal mobile
phone towers after the deadline for operators to apply for
regularisation after paying the hiked amount expired.

MCD had said that out of 5,364 towers in the city`s 12
municipal zones, only 2,412 had the requisite permission and
the remaining 2,952 were illegal.

The civic body had earlier sealed 300 illegal towers
and given several deadlines to the tower operators to apply
for regularisation in keeping with new guidelines unveiled by
it.

The MCD had on February 9 brought in a new policy on
mobile towers, according to which the amount payable by the
service providers to the MCD for installing a tower has been
increased from Rs one lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

-PTI

From Zee News

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