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'What Is It Supposed To Look Like?': Delhi High Court Asks Centre, SDMC To Indicate Technical Specifications Of 'Tower On Wheels'

Akshita Saxena
26 Nov 2021 2:00 PM GMT
What Is It Supposed To Look Like?: Delhi High Court Asks Centre, SDMC To Indicate Technical Specifications Of Tower On Wheels
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Even Eiffel Tower can be dismantled. Is it a tower on wheels, the Court asked the authorities.

The Delhi High Court today directed the Union of India and South Delhi Municipal Corporation to elucidate the technical specifications of a "tower on wheels" which it had proposed to install at a public park in the city's Sarita Vihar area."You have permitted installation of tower on wheels, no difficulty there. But what is it supposed to look like? Who will draw the infra drawing?" asked...

The Delhi High Court today directed the Union of India and South Delhi Municipal Corporation to elucidate the technical specifications of a "tower on wheels" which it had proposed to install at a public park in the city's Sarita Vihar area.

"You have permitted installation of tower on wheels, no difficulty there. But what is it supposed to look like? Who will draw the infra drawing?" asked Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva.

The single Bench was hearing a petition filed by a society namely 'Jan Kalyan Samiti' through Advocate Gaurav Bahl, aggrieved by the permission issued by SDMC to Indus Towers Limited, for installation of a tower at the SDMC park.

The petitioner was further aggrieved that whereas the permission was granted for Cell on Wheel (COW), however the Tower which has been installed is on permanent structure at the ground level with cemented base.

At the outset, the Judge observed that the very purpose of something being on wheel means it can be moved.

"If it is parked on road, it can be towed. I have not seen a single tower which can be towed," the Judge observed orally.

The SDMC counsel responded that the tower in question is movable inasmuch as it can be dismantled.

To this, the Judge retorted,

"Even Eiffel Tower can be dismantled. Is it a tower on wheels?"

Accordingly, it ordered, "Respondents shall place on record technical specification along with dimensions of a mobile tower on wheels" and posted the matter for hearing on 3 December.

It also ordered for impleadment of Indus Towers Limited, which has installed the tower in question. Further, it is made clear that the subject tower shall be subject to orders of the Court.

Apart form the above, the petition also raises issue with regards to health hazard of installing mobile tower in a public park. It was submitted that no conclusive proof has come forward which can state that the Towers are Safe.

During the hearing, Justice Sachdeva observed that this issue is already settled by a division bench of the High Court in a judgment delivered in 2012. Further, in 2016, it was held that there is no scientific data available to show that installation of mobile phone towers and the emission of the waves by the said towers is in any way harmful for the health or hazardous to the health of citizens.

At this juncture, Advocate Deepak Khosla, who happened to be present through VC in connection with another matter, submitted "proof of no harm is different from no proof of harm". He submitted, the onus is on the polluter to show that no harm is caused due to installation of towers. It may be noted that Khosla had represented actress Juhi Chawla in her suit against 5G Roll out.

Khosla submitted that mobile towers were given a green signal based on the ICNIRP guidelines of 1998. However, what is notable is that the organization is funded by telecom companies.

Case Title: Jan Kalyan Samiti v. SDMC & Ors.

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