The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought responses from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on the matter of setting up mobile towers in public parks.
The Vasant Vihar Association had filed an application before the Principal Bench of the NGT asking the court to issue directions for the removal of mobile towers that have been set up in public parks in the Vasant Vihar colony. The application has also sought the restoration of these parks at the cost of the respondents, in addition to directions to cease and desist from permitting the installation of mobile towers at any public park in Delhi.
Noting that the matters in the application raise questions relating to the environment, the NGT’s Principal Bench has asked the respondents – the MCD, the DPCC and a mobile tower installation company – to file their replies within a week. The matter will be heard again next week.
There have been multiple applications before the NGT on the installation of mobile towers in public parks. Residents of F Block, Hari Nagar had filed a petition last year against the installation of a mobile tower in a park at Hari Kunj Society and had said that residents have not been able to use the park and children have not been able to play.
While considering the matter earlier this year, the court had observed: “It has been held time and again that green belts and parks cannot be used for commercial purposes. A similar matter was also considered by Tribunal vide order dated 19.07.2022 in O.A No. 232/2022, Gautam Nagar Residents Association Regd. V. Commissioner, SDMC & Ors., and it was observed that no mobile tower can be allowed to be installed in a park. The question is not of radiation only but of misuse of open areas such as parks which are facilities for the residents.” In this matter, the NGT had constituted a joint committee comprising representatives of the DPCC, MCD and the District Magistrate, West Delhi, to submit a report.