The people of Hyderabad are subjected to poor mobile connectivity and frequent call drops as the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has cut power supply to 245 cell-phone towers in the city over the last two years for not paying property tax.
According to a report in the Times of India, the government of undivided Andhra had made it compulsory for telecom companies to obtain permission from the civic body and pay a fixed amount of Rs 1 lakh as tax to build towers, even if it is shared usage.
However, the municipal authority claims that there are about 6,000 'illegal' cell towers in the city.
"The cell phone towers are treated as a part of the building's property, but many of these towers have not paid property tax. Which is why we had to resort to cut power supplies to these towers and stop the services," a senior official from the GHMC's town planning wing told TOI.
Tilak Raj Dua, senior director, Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), told the newspaper "Our members, the telecom infrastructure providers, are creating telecom infrastructure -which is a nation-building exercise. We have as many as four lakh towers across the country. The civic body is identifying the towers as a building to levy taxes on it, but in reality it is not a building and such taxes cannot be levied on such towers."