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Most telecom towers a threat during lightning - CEA

COLOMBO: There are over 3,200 telecommunication towers in Sri Lanka while there should be only one telecommunication tower within a radius of 500 metres, Central Environment Authority (CEA) Chairman Gammanpila said.

There are many complaints against these towers. Usually these towers should minimise the risk of lightning but in Sri Lanka some towers are a threat during lightning because of certain shortcomings, Gammanpila said. He said that telecommunication towers should be earthed properly using copper wires.

Copper wires are very expensive and private companies have to spend large funds for this. But some companies do not invest to earth their towers properly to cut down cost. Because of this, lightning can strike and damage properties and injure people. Often thieves steal expensive copper wires as once installed private companies do not monitor towers, he said.

According to Gammanpila an Environmental Protection Licence should be obtained to erect a telecommunication tower and the CEA carries out an annual monitoring to check whether the guidelines are followed by the relevant companies.

Steps will be taken to implement a new strategy to minimise the number of towers by taking over telecommunication towers by the Government and renting them to companies. A new levy will also be introduced on telecommunication towers in the future in order to stress the importance of protecting environment, he said.

Telecommunication towers have invaded most mountains of Sri Lanka destroying the natural beauty of the country, Gammanpila said.

 

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