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Official is fined for illegal mast.

A BAHRAINI was yesterday fined BD100 for illegally erecting a mobile phone mast in Arad.

The Lower Criminal Court also ordered the removal of the mast from the building where it had been placed.

The man, who is a top official in a telecommunication company, was convicted of erecting the mast without obtaining a permit from the Muharraq Municipality in May 2009.

The court based its verdict on Article 13 of a law issued in 1977, which states it is illegal to construct a building, add something or demolish it without a permit from the responsible municipality.

"Every violation to the law will be fined no less than BD10 and no more than BD100 as well as removing the violation," the law states.

The building owner earlier revealed the defendant had rented a room on the roof of his building.

He then had the mast erected and agreed to pay a monthly rent to the owner in exchange.

Muharraq Municipal Council imposed a blanket ban on new masts in September 2007.

Permission

Municipal councils in late 2009 announced plans to dismantle all masts put up without their permission.

However, they backed down after Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) agreed to come up with new procedures for erecting masts and aerials.

The TRA and councils would then review the sites without permits before informing operators to remove structures that did not comply with the new rules.

Council chairman Abdulnasser Al Mahmeed said they had received a reply from Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi on the TRA's proposed new procedures.

"I have transferred the matter to the council's financial and legal committee to study the proposal," he revealed.

"We will then raise the issue in an upcoming council meeting and discuss the proposal," he added.

"We hope it will finally allow us to organise the erecting of masts and aerials on a legal basis."

A joint committee headed by Dr Al Ka'abi with representatives from the Interior, Health and Defence ministries and the TRA conducted an independent study on the radiation levels last July.

The results have never been made public but were submitted to the Cabinet.

It followed claims that telecom companies were paying up to BD1,000 a month to erect masts on private property without council permission.

Bahrain's 2002 Telecommunications Law states telecom companies can construct installations on private property if an agreement is reached with building owners.

However, Building Regulation Law of 1977 states that landowners require municipality's consent to modify any property.

basma@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jan 27, 2011
Words:436
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