The Defense Housing Authority (DHA) Lahore yesterday agreed to provide access to the cellular operators to the cell sites installed in its limits and submitted unconditional apology to the LHC in a contempt of court petition hearing.
Earlier, DHA had restricted access to BTS towers for cellular companies due to DHA’s attempt for revising BTS land acquisition contracts before time.
According to sources in cellular companies, DHA was demanding Rs. 1 million against each tower as security, in addition to security money that has already been paid at the time of installation.
After the situation, Cellular operators approached the Lahore High Court to intervene to ensure that not only the Authority bring down the rentals but also facilitate these companies in renewal of the contracts.
Cellular companies had further requested High Court to ask DHA for free access to cell towers to conduct maintenance and other routine procedures in order to keep the service running.
Lahore High Court while issuing notices had ordered that wherever petitioner had valid contracts for sites, those shall not be removed and access shall be granted until next hearing.
But this week, DHA officials kept Zong’s one senior technical officer, Adrees Mahmood, detained for over four hours over and was released only after the matter was brought to the knowledge of Police. Moreover, authority again restricted the access to cell sites and qualified for a direct contempt of court.
DHA actually disconnected electricity for many sites resulting into outages of service which in a way was creating problems for their residents.
DHA denied these allegations, however, latter apologized in the court for the same. In yesterday contempt of court hearing, DHA agreed to provide access to the cellular operators to the cell sites installed in its limits and submitted unconditional apology to the LHC in a contempt of court petition hearing.
The court accepted the apology and passed orders accordingly. The court shall hear the arguments from all the parties on June 17.
All cellular companies, except one, are on-board for these proceedings against DHA.
Cellular Mobile operators are licensed to install towers all over Pakistan as per the Telecom Act. Sites have also been installed in DHA Lahore under the provisions of the PTA (Re-organization) Act 1996.