A non-profit-making rural body that represents indigenous residents in Yuen Long has made thousands of dollars by allowing mobile service operators to install antennas on its building without completing an application required by the Lands Department. The antennas have sparked local residents' concerns over the safety of the equipment. Ten antennas have been installed in the past eight years on the Pat Heung Rural Committee building. The committee's chairman admitted it had received 'several thousand dollars as sponsorship' from each company. A Lands Department spokeswoman said the committee had recently applied for permission to retain the antennas and that the application was still being processed, but she did not say if the committee had ever been asked to remove them. The building, sitting on government land, is licensed as a nonprofit-making body. Committee chairman Tsang Hin-keung said that for a time he had known nothing about the antennas as they were installed long before he became the chairman, but when pressed further he divulged more. 'We received complaints from villagers that mobile phone reception was poor, so we actively contacted the operators and asked them to install some transceivers here as we wanted to do something to benefit the villagers,' he said. 'Each operator gave us several thousand dollars as sponsorship towards the costs of operating the committee. It was mutually beneficial.' He did not say how many payments had been made. Tsang said the committee's financial reports were public and that anyone was welcome to have a look, but a South China Morning Post request to do so was met with a refusal. 'It is unreasonable to check the reports after I have explained everything. Do you suspect me of lying?' Tsang said. A resident who had been living near the building for over 20 years said the antennas had affected his family's daily life and posed a threat: 'Last year, one day when a typhoon signal No 8 was hoisted, one of the antennas suddenly collapsed and fell. Luckily, no one was hurt.' He said the antennas also affected television, Wi-fi and cordless phone reception. 'I even needed to reorganise my home's interior to be able to watch television,' he complained. He said his elderly grandmother often complained of headaches and depression, which he wondered might be caused by the antennas. A spokeswoman for the telecoms watchdog Ofta said it had issued approval to three mobile operators to install antennas there and that the equipment had complied with international standards on radio frequency emissions and radiation safety. But she refused to disclose the names of the operators. A spokeswoman for the Buildings Department said that its officers had inspected the site and concluded that the supporting frames of the antennas posed no structural danger.