TAIPA Says Uttarakhand Telecom Policy Aligns with RoW Rules

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Uttarakhand’s telecommunication infrastructure policy states that no restrictions based on location would be imposed for installation of mobile towers

Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), an industry body representing leading telecom infrastructure providers, said on Wednesday that the telecommunication infrastructure policy drafted by the state government of Uttarakhand is more or less in line with Right of Way (RoW) 2016 rules, notified by the Central Government.

However, the association said that the policy has a provision to impose Rs 5000 as sharing fee per service provider which is not in line with the RoW rules.

The Central Government notified the RoW rules 2016 in order to ensure smooth deployment of fibre network and mobile towers across the state to match the increasing demand for data, eventually adding impetus to achieve the mission of Digital India.

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The association said that it is writing back to the concerned authorities for streamlining the same.

To address network issues

Tilak Raj Dua, Director General, TAIPA, said, “The policy indeed will be able to address issues such as call drops, network outage and connectivity gaps etc. It imposes sharing fee of Rs 5000 per service provider which is not as per RoW rules, 2016, for which we are requesting the authorities to align the same with the Central guidelines.”

“Other Indian states such as Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, need to emulate such provisions and notify policies for their respective states. TAIPA congratulates Uttarakhand government for formulating such a supportive and comprehensive policy,” he added.

Key provisions of the policy

According to the policy, the state government has formed State Level Telecom Committee (SLTC) and District Level Telecom Committee (DLTC) for implementing guidelines and addressing public grievances.

An online RoW portal to be developed, as part of the policy, within one year to ensure approvals of applications on time.

In addition, the policy features that no coercive actions would be taken against the towers without the approval of Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cell, related to EMF issues.

The policy also states that no restrictions based on location would be imposed for installation of mobile towers and the application clearance timeline would be 60 days.

The tower policy mentions one-time permission charges of Rs 5000, administrative charges of Rs 1000 for over-ground telecom infrastructure and Rs 1000 per kilometre for underground infrastructure such as fibre.

The policy also ensures stringent legal actions to be taken under the relevant sections of Indian Telegraph Act and IPC against any negligent or willful damage to telecom infrastructure facility and causing disruption to network connectivity.

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