LAHORE - District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta has stopped issuing no objection certificates (NOC)s for installation of base trans-receiver stations (BTS), usually called cellphone towers, in residential and commercial areas. According to sources, the DCO has issued strict directives that no one will be granted an NOC unless specific rules laid down for installation of BTS towers are fulfilled in totality. The step was taken after the DCO noticed gross irregularities in the installation of cellphone towers. And more than 50 towers were sealed that were installed in violation of rules and regulations, the sources disclosed. They informed that before the DCO was empowered, Tehsil Municipal Officers had the authority to issue NOCs to mobilephone companies. The sources said that despite the fact, TMOs enjoyed the said powers, they were not technically sound to examine the parameters formulated for the installation of BTS towers. Most of the TMOs were also found indulged in taking commission for issuing NOCs to mobile companies, they added. The sources said that thousands of cellphone towers had been installed, as the rules were not implemented to the full. The DCO said that those companies would be given preference in terms of granting NOCs that would try to share the towers wherever possible keeping in view all the technical aspects. He said that in case of operation of BTS sites on generators, initially when electricity would not be available generators noise level should be kept up to 65-75 decibel and vibration level must not exceed over 1.1 m, at one-meter distance from the generator. All generators should be housed in brick walled rooms and soundproof canopies to ensure that above two parameters should not exceed the given limits. According to the rules, all cellular companies desirous to install BTS towers or antennas will have to submit documents to the DCO regarding site plan of the proposed site and location details (whether to be installed on roof top, building premises or open plot). The companies also need to present structural stability certificate from a qualified structural engineer or engineering company registered with the Pakistan Engineering Council and countersigned by the director concerned of the mobile telephone company. The companies will also have to submit an NOC obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority wherever required, affidavit from the owner of the property, detailed design of the tower and ownership proof. They will be required to present an NOC from the environmental protection authority or district officer environment for that particular location for their generator sets. According to the rules, the director of the cellphone company must have to furnish an affidavit stating in case of any loss of life or property they will be bound to pay Rs 0.2 million to each victim and make good any damage to any property. The area approved for installation of BTS towers should be maintained and beautified by the company to create environmental-friendly atmosphere. They said that security of BTS towers in all respects would be responsibility of the concerned cellular company. In case the site is acquired by any government agency for development activity in public interest, the removable structure will be removed by cellular company at its own risk and cost. However, compensation of land and permanent structures will be regulated according. Permission to install tower will be valid for 10 year and renewable for equal terms after due inspection by the local govt authority concerned. Rules also say that approval for construction of the towers or antennas would be subject to the permission of the district committee. DCO heads the committee and its members comprising DO (planning), TMO, TO (P&C), DO (environment), representative of development authority and any other member co-opted by the committee. Divisional Commissioners will review the performance of district committee. The Provisional Coordination Committee will also monitor the performance of district committees. The Provisional Coordination Committee comprises secretary LG & CD as chairman, secretary EPD, secretary Industries, secretary IT, secretary HUD & PHE, nominee of Mobile Company.