The Corporation of Kochi has issued an order to regularise all mobile towers erected by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) in its limits.
The order which was discreetly issued in October last year, led to heated debate in the council meeting on Monday. The discreet nature of the order provoked the opposition, which proceeded to question the Mayor in this regard.
The residents of Kunnumpuram have been protesting against the move by the telecom giant to erect a tower in the area. It was when the locals tried to stop the move that the order issued by the authorities, months ago, came to fore. The opposition also wanted clarification from the superintending engineer for issuing the order without informing the Council. The opposition pointed out that all the applications for seeking approval for erecting cell phone towers should be discussed in the council and the member of the division in which the tower is to be erected should be informed in advance, which was not followed in this case.
Strangely, Mayor Soumini Jain told the Council she also came to know about the order for the first time only when it came before the council on Monday, reports Times of India.
The demand to regularise mobile towers has been raised by the opposition for a while. In December last year the Council meeting of the Corporation witnessed unruly scenes and the opposition had staged a walkout over the issue. The allegation was that the civic body had shown favouritism to Reliance Jio Infocomm to dig up roads and lay cables for the second time without the council's permission.