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BTS tower troubling residents

February 09, 2009

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SAHIWAL, Feb 8: Residents of Shadman Town have objected to the installation of a cellular company’s commercial base transceiver station (BTS) in the residential area and have written to the chief secretary for the stoppage of the installation.

Muhammad Waqas, of Shadman Colony, launched the application. The residents say that under the Pakistan Environment Protection Act of 1997 no agency can allow the construction of a BTS tower in a residential area. Muhammad Ashfaq, caretaker of plot No 175 where the tower construction is underway, said he had got a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the environment district officer (DO). The residents said the company had started the installation work even before getting the NOC.

Environment DO Muhammad Fahim said he had issued the NOC after seeing affidavits from residents that they had no problem with the proposed installation. The residents, however, claimed the officials had been provided affidavits of those who were living far from the construction place.

Muhammad Rashid Gill said how the company could start construction before settling the public concern. Naseem Akhtar, Muhammad Afzal, Rana Ibrar and Rashid whose houses are very close to the tower construction, said this was a second BTS tower in the colony built without following proper legal procedures. "Powerful electromagnetic waves emitted from the tower are dangerous for those falling in the proximity of the tower,” Raja Zahid said.

AIOU: Investment in higher education and teachers training is a must for the development of any nation, says Prof Dr Mahmoodul Hasan Butt, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) vice chancellor. At a prize distribution ceremony in a local college, he said that the sectors were of immense importance and the AIOU was seriously working on these two objectives through distance learning education.