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600 Mobile Towers Goes Missing in Tamil Nadu as Mysterious Gang Takes Advantage of Lockdowns

In a bizarre incident, 600 mobile phone towers in Tamil Nadu has gone missing since the start of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

GTL Infrastructure Limited, the company that set up the mobile phone towers said the towers had been stolen when it had not been under surveillance since 2017. Meanwhile, a police investigation has revealed that 600 mobile phone towers belonging to the company had gone missing.

GTL Infrastructure Limited which was involved in setting up the mobile phone towers has been headquartered in Mumbai, while its regional office is located at Purasavakkam in Chennai.

Reportedly, the company has set up and managed 26,000 mobile phone towers across India. In Tamil Nadu alone, more than 6,000 mobile phone towers have been set up and maintained.

Earlier in 2018, the private tower service company stopped its service owing to huge loss. Thus, the network service of the mobile phone towers installed across the country came to a standstill.

When these mobile towers in Tamil Nadu were not in operation, the companies that were monitoring it could not go to the tower site during the Covid-19 period and carry out monitoring and maintenance.

Recently, when the officials went to explore the status of mobile phone towers that were not functioning for other network needs, they were shocked to learn that a mobile tower in Erode district was found missing. Following this, a complaint has been lodged at the police station in the district where the tower was located and a case has been registered, according to the company that has set up the mobile phone towers.

Subsequent surveys across Tamil Nadu on the condition of non-functioning mobile phone towers revealed that more than 600 towers had gone missing. The victim company has accused the mysterious gang of taking advantage of the Covid-19 lockdown in particular and stealing their mobile phone towers that are unmanned and unattended.

After complaint from one of the officials from the company, the cops came to know that it wasn’t just one tower that went missing, but a whopping number of 600 towers had gone missing so far. An official, who wished to remain anonymous confirmed the theft.

Eventually, the company further said that there are many such towers located and the police should take timely action to prevent such thefts in the state. In particular, the company said it would cost between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 40 lakh to set up a mobile phone towers and added that the loss has been pitched in crores now.

In a similar incident, a Vodafone mobile tower, set up at a cost of Rs 28 lakh in the Koodal Pudur area of Madurai district in Tamil Nadu, has reportedly gone missing during January this year.

The tower was set up by the latter at a cost of Rs 28.82 lakh in the Amravati street area of Koodal Pudur. The issue came to light when the telecommunication company took cognizance of constant complaints of no connection and decided to check the local tower.

(With inputs from Anbarasan in Chennai)

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Source: News18