Shifting of BTS to Solar Energy – Deadline Nearing, Ministry is on Leave

In response to Punjab Government’s notice to shift all cellular towers in the Punjab to solar energy, a joint plea from cellular companies is seeking attention from Ministry high ups, who are currently on leave.

Following is what “The News” had to report based on APP’s story;

The row between Punjab government and Telecom operators for shifting of cellular phone towers to solar energy has taken a new turn as the high ups of the Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) are on a visit abroad.

After being asked by the Punjab government to shift all the transmission towers of cellular phone companies from electricity to solar energy, the telecom industry has filed a joint respond to the MoIT, seeking its intervention over the issue.

However, things are getting jittery, as no high-ranked official is there to negotiate between telecom industry and Punjab Government.

An official of IT ministry informed this agency that Secretary of Information Technology Naghibullah Malik was on a visit to USA along with Joint Secretary of the ministry. He also said the secretary cabinet was looking after the affairs of the ministry while secretary IT would return home on June 29.

In the joint communique sent to MoIT, telecom operators have expressed their inability to shift their towers on solar energy on pretext that there was no mechanism available in Pakistani market to provide solar cells on such a large scale. “You know, Punjab government has made an unrealistic demand. It is quite impossible for the industry to shift all its towers on solar energy due to shortage of solar cells in the market, (and that too in just one month)” said an official of the telecom sector company.

When contacted, Director Public Relations, Mobilink, Omar Manzur confirmed that all the telecom operators had sent a joint response to the MoIT and other relevant authorities, including Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). “We are awaiting any response from the ministry to settle the issue with Punjab government. We would only take any step once the ministry responds to the issue,” he added.

Punjab government has announced a deadline of June 30 after which the power connections to all cell phone towers across Punjab Province would be disconnected. If this happens to be a reality, all cell phone users would be deprived of services, resulting into a total disconnect of cellular services across Punjab Province.