Bahrein: Juridische acties tegen providers na schending moratorium plaatsing zendmasten
donderdag, 01 oktober 2009 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal
Bron: Gulf Daily news 28 Sept. 2009
Phone firms face legal action
Auteur: MOHAMMED AL A'ALI
TELECOM firms are facing legal action after allegedly erecting ''hundreds'' of mobile phone masts over the weekend, despite municipal councils ordering a freeze on any new mast installations on top of homes.
Councillors accused operators of throwing down a clear challenge to their authority after they ordered the suspension of masts on homes until new rules were drawn up.
The five councils last week gave telecom firms until the end of the year to remove existing masts from residential property or face legal action.
However, councillors now say that deal is off the table and are now seeking the dismantling of such masts immediately.
''The telecom companies have clearly told people over the weekend when installing hundreds of masts not to bother with councils,'' claimed Northern Municipal Council chairman and joint councils committee head Yousif Al Boori.
''This is a clear challenge to our authority and those behind it don't know that because of this we are not willing to give anyone a chance and that legal action is on its way to have the masts removed from rooftops.
''The Building Regulations Law issued in 1977 clearly states that any building comes under the municipality's authority and any change to its exterior or interior, increase in its height or the installation of additional facilities requires a permit.
''However, municipal regulations are neglected here as the telecom companies make the deal with homeowners, without the municipality's consent or paying any fees.''
It is understood a decision to suspend the installation of phone masts was taken at a meeting not attended by telecom companies, while no official orders were said to have been issued.
However, the councils are now seeking meetings with Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) officials to also discuss what action to take if homeowners continue to allow phone masts to remain on their rooftops.
Mr Al Boori claimed the country's five councils, which have formed a joint committee to follow up the issue, were not against the setting up of masts.
However, he said action was needed to organise the installation of such masts.
''When the law obliges people to get permits from the municipality, that's for an obvious reason and that's ensuring organisation, which is not the case here,'' he said.
''The telecom companies don't have a proper plan to set up masts and things are being done randomly with their employees knocking on doors and those who respond and agree are awarded a contract.
''I dare any telecom company to tell me why masts are set up on rooftops rather than open ground. It is simple, open ground requires a number of permits and involves fees.''
Mr Al Boori claimed last week that telecom companies were tempting needy families with monthly amounts of up to BD1,000 to use their rooftops for mobile masts.
An agreement was reached two weeks ago with Municipalities and Agriculture Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi to hire an international company to assess the situation in Bahrain and come up with a plan for setting up masts in future.
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