The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has issued a 37-point guideline giving detailed rules and regulations that need to be followed while installing communication towers in Lutyens’ Delhi.

In a document issued by the council, it laid down the guidelines regarding the installation of communication towers to bring uniformity in the area. As per the guidelines, the installation of towers or antennae should be in a manner that they do not disturb the heritage and aesthetic aspects of the New Delhi area. The antennae and towers, including appurtenances and equipment, should be located at the rear end of the plot and not be visible from the main entrance and road, and no diesel generator sets are allowed at the tower site to cater to the power requirements of the antenna.

The guidelines state that no unauthorised cell-on-wheel (COW) would be allowed in the NDMC area. NDMC will e-auction the sites for installation of COWs in the NDMC area on designated places at approved rates initially for three years, which may be extended further for two years.

Further, the mobile towers installed without permission post the issuance of this policy will be regularised as per rules along with a penalty of Rs 10,000 per month from the date of existence of the tower. NDMC will charge a one-time permission fee of Rs 300,000 for five years for the installation or renewal of a new tower.

According to the guidelines, for cellular towers existing before the issue of this policy, the telecom company and service provider may apply for regularisation within 30 days of notification of this policy by paying arrears from the date of their existence failing which NDMC will take action against those towers as per policy Installations of towers and antennas, either ground-based or on the rooftop, will not be permitted within Central Vista, however, if necessary, a committee will decide the issue on a case-to-case basis. The committee will be chaired by NDMC chairperson with members to be co-opted from Central Vista Committee. Similarly, permission to install towers or antennae on the campus of NDMC schools including Navyug Schools and buildings of hospitals and dispensaries will not be given. However, in case there is a technical requirement for installation on these buildings, the matter shall be referred to the chairperson of NDMC for seeking exemption on a case-to-case basis.

For heritage-listed buildings, a no objection certificate from the heritage conservative committee is also required and for the buildings within a radius of 300 metres from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) monuments, a no objection certificate (NOC) from the National Monument Authority is required. The multiplicity of towers needs to be avoided and the use of existing towers optimised by accommodating at least three operators for which they are designed and as per guidelines and amended by the central government of India from time to time.