Installation of mobile towers on private property: rules, benefits, and drawbacks!

Without high-speed internet access, the world would have came to a halt in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, which began in December 2019. Since the virus rendered unrestricted mobility difficult, businesses implemented remote working practises in an attempt to keep operations running as normal. Owing to the mobile tower architecture, it was not hard for us to adjust to the new normal fast. Despite the apparent benefits of this infrastructure, its presence in residential areas remains a source of worry. In this context, we will analyse the benefits and drawbacks of living near mobile towers.

Mobile towers: The risks to your health

Radiation from cell phone handsets and towers is ‘potentially carcinogenic to humans,’ according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and may cause glioma, a kind of brain cancer. Mobile towers may be more harmful than mobile phones due of their higher intensity and consistency of radiation.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a technical report based on the findings of investigations done between 2008 and 2018, indicating that there was inadequate proof suggesting a causal relationship among radio frequency radiation (RFR) exposure and tumour growth. As stated by the UK Non-Ionising Radiation Advisory Committee, exposure levels from living near mobile phone base stations are extremely low, and the research suggests that they are unlikely to cause a health concern. Yet, experts argue that there aren’t enough well-controlled trials to draw clear conclusions.

Whereas the industry has long maintained that there is no scientific evidence that pollutants from mobile towers cause cancer, some experts say that they may induce swelling in the brain and skull, migraines, hearing impairment, and anxiety disorders. These consequences are even more harmful to youngsters and patients.

Living near cell towers, according to health experts, is no different than being exposed to lead, DDT, chloroform, and petrol exhaust. As a result, installations in Indian cities continue to proliferate, often in residential areas and near educational and health institutions.

India accepted and continues to implement the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines on radiation exposure in 2009. These guidelines, however, did not include the biological impact of cell tower radiations and simply mentioned protection against short-term gross heating effects. 

Mobile towers on residential buildings: Financial Gains

Naturally, along with a rapid growth in the number of customers, mobile providers have been compelled to improve their offerings and are eager to put towers in residential areas to provide better services.

They seldom meet objections to expanding their reach in residential areas for two reasons. For starters, due of the monetary incentives offered by mobile providers, citizens continue to favour the installation of towers. Furthermore, in alongside getting monthly rents that can reach lakhs of rupees, housing societies who allow mobile tower construction are given incentives such as free internet and phone service by service providers. It makes complete financial sense for a landlord or housing society management to offer the property to mobile providers for mobile tower installation. By doing so, little consideration is given to the potential health risks posed by base station antennas.

Is it permissible to put up mobile towers in residential areas?

Indeed, installing mobile towers in residential zones is permissible. In reality, new standards are being established to promote more resilient mobile infrastructure. Under the requirements of the Right of Way laws, telecom firms no longer need authorization from authorities to erect cell towers on private land. According to a government notification dated August 17, 2022, “when the licensee proposes the development of overground telegraph infrastructure over any private property, the licensee shall not seek any consent from the authorised authorities.”

The Indian legal system has taken a more cautious stance on the issue, despite the government’s desire for legislation that would permit the building of mobile towers in residential areas as the country experiences a sharp increase in the number of mobile users.

In March 2021, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued an order prohibiting the construction of mobile phone masts on top of residential properties in the state. The HC stated that haphazardly erecting mobile towers might endanger people’s lives and Property.

How can you prevent the construction of a mobile tower in a residential area?

If a tower is erected and managed by the firm without the necessary permissions, the inhabitants must report it as soon as possible. In January 2021, for instance, the Gurugram department of town and country planning shut four unlawful mobile towers in response to a complaint from the Mapsko Casa Bella community in Sector 82. Without the department’s approval, the towers were erected and operated in a building intended for the financially deprived (EWS) of society.

During an operation in March 2021, the Faraskhana police in Pune confiscated 26 mobile network boosters and disabled another 27. During the operation, authorities confiscated unlawful mobile signal repeaters installed in houses, stores, and other commercial locations.

If your Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) has allowed a mobile operator to set up mobile towers in order to earn rentals, you can petition the local authority – the sub-district magistrate or the joint commissioner in your district – to stop the installation, citing the mental and physical consequences of such a move. It will only assist if you get the cooperation of other members of the housing society and file a combined complaint with the authorities. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are for informational purposes only based on industry reports and related news stories. PropertyPistol does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.

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2 Comments

  1. I am staying in a layout mobile tower as been installed in top of our house required to remove ,after telling the owner a lot he is not listening

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