New Delhi, 28 Aug Bharti Airtel, the country’s largest private cellular player, is likely to be issued a show cause notice for putting up two towers within a distance of 10 kilometers of international border with Nepal in Bihar service area in violation of licence agreement.
Although the condition of distance between two towers was relaxed to 500 meters along the international border within Indian territory with effect from 26 February this year, the government considers that Bharti had violated licence agreement as per the conditions existed at the time of vigilance check.
According to a report by the vigilance wing of Department of Telecom (DoT) of February, 2006, Bharti Airtel (formerly Bharti Cellular Limited) had base station towers at Jogbani and Forbesganj which fall within 10 kms of Nepal border.
Sources said that the licensor (DoT) may impose a financial penalty of up to Rs 50 crore for violation of terms and conditions of licence agreement.
The DoT, however, mentioned that Bharti had applied in 2005 for approval to put up towers in Jogbani and Forbejgunj to the Wireless Planning Coordination (WPC) and the case was pending for want of “No Objection Certificate”.
The department has put up the matter before the Communication and IT Minister A Raja for his approval, sources said, adding the exact nature and quantum of penalty would be decided with the approval of competent authority after the examination of the replies of the company.