Goa cuts red tape for telecom towers to address poor connectivity concerns

3 months ago 22
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The permission of local bodies -- be it panchayats or municipal bodies -- will no longer be mandatory for telecom infrastructure companies to set up towers in Goa, according to a new Goa Telecom Infrastructure Policy, 2020 that was approved by the state cabinet on Wednesday.

The decision to streamline the processes for setting up towers in the state was made in a bid to improve connectivity, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said.

“The major change is that the permissions from local bodies will no longer be needed. But a one-time payment of Rs 50,000 will be given to the local body as a licence fee. In urban and semi urban areas it is Rs 50,000 monthly rent for the operators and in rural areas it is half of that,” Sawant said.

“If it is in a private property, they will need the permission from the land owner and can then approach the government for permissions,” Sawant said.

The need for a permission from the local body was holding up the installation of towers, Sawant said adding that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the state’s poor connectivity and has sent children scurrying up hills, treetops, roofs of houses, etc in the search of connectivity.

However, owing to opposition from residents, panchayats and municipal bodies have been slow in processing permissions for setting up the towers with around 300 tower permissions pending for permission.

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