The new mobile tower policy of Odisha, which prescribes time-bound approvals and minimum charges for erection, is a comprehensive framework that will help address telecom infrastructure issues in the state for next 15-20 years, an industry body said.
The Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (Taipa) has also urged other states to take a leaf out of the Odisha’s policy and bring down hefty charges for setting up of mobile towers.
“The Odisha tower policy is one of the most comprehensive tower policies across the nation. It is capable of addressing telecom infrastructure needs for next 15-20 years. The policy indeed will be able to address issues such as call drops, network outage and connectivity gaps etc,” Taipa Director General Tilak Raj Dua told PTI.
“Other states should learn from Odisha. In Maharashtra, Punjab and union territories, charges for installing mobile towers range between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 lakh besides rent. We have made various representation to authorities in these states and UTs but there has been no resolution till date,” Dua said.
Telecom companies have frequently highlighted that abnormal charges and cumbersome processes of local authorities in states are roadblocks in setting up of towers which results in poor signal and call drops.
Odisha announced its mobile tower installation policy ’Odisha Mobile Towers, OFC and related Telecom Infrastructure Policy 2017’ in the mid of the month.
The state government has made it mandatory that local authority will have to issue permit for installation of mobile towers within 60 days of receiving application from the company in case there are no disputes.
In case the application is rejected, the local authority will have to inform the company within seven days of disaproving it along with reason.
As per the policy, firms are required to pay one time permission charges of Rs. 10,000 for installing mobile towers on ground or on the rooftop in urban area and Rs. 5,000 for rural area.
The Odisha government has allowed mobile tower companies to install ground base in government premises for paying charges in the range of Rs. 100 to 300 per square feet in urban area.
Besides, it has prescribed no charges for mobile towers mounted on vehicles and companies only need to inform about the tower before 15 days of installing it.