Residents protest bid to install mobile phone tower in Siolim
Attempts to install a mobile phone tower in a residential area of Siolim village have again sparked a dispute.
Several villagers rushed to the primary health center in Siolim where work to install a mobile phone tower was underway.
While the contractor hired to erect the tower held firm as he had permission from the PWD to install the tower, the locals did not allow him to carry out the work.
As the situation grew tense, Bardez Mamlatdar Dashrath Gawas rushed to the site and tried to allay the villagers’ concerns about the need for the tower.
Gawas informed residents that the contractor had government permission to install the tower. He also tried to convince them that installing cell phone towers will help improve connectivity as students also need an internet connection for their studies.
However, the villagers remained unperturbed and opposed to the location of the tower in the residential area and especially near the health center.
Siolim-Marna panchayat member William Fernandes, who backed villagers against the tower, revealed there was a High Court order that did not allow a mobile tower within 50m of a hospital .
Secondly, he said that the NOC that the contractor was presenting had already expired and therefore there was no question of installing the tower. “We all use cell phones. The villagers also do not object to the tower per se, but it should be erected away from a populated area and especially a health institute,” Fernandes said.