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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

BMC ignores DoT’s guidelines

Vaishnavi Vasudevan, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 16, 2013
First Published: 10:24 IST(16/8/2013) | Last Updated: 10:27 IST(16/8/2013)

The civic body’s revised policy on mobile phone towers, which was cleared by civic chief Sitaram Kunte on Tuesday, does not require companies installing such towers to obtain a no objection certificate from the residents of the building every year.

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This is in stark contrast to Department of Telecommunication (DOT)’s guidelines for mobile phone towers.

The policy mentions that 70% consent is required from the housing society – only at the time of approval or regularisation- which means the residents will only have a say in the matter the first time the towers are erected or when the illegal ones are regularised.

On the other hand, in its latest revised policy on August 1, the Department of Telecommunication (DOT) stated that state governments and local civic bodies should seek a no-objection certificate (NOC) from housing societies each time at the time of renewal of site approval.

However, despite formulating the revised civic policy 12 days after the DoT issued the revised guideline for all state governments and civic bodies, the civic officials did not consider the same.

In the past, BMC had claimed that there was a delay in formulating the policy as they were waiting for the revised norms from the DOT, so that changes could be incorporated.

Municipal Chief Sitaram Kunte said, “The DoT keeps revising the radiation norms frequently, hence we decided to go ahead with the already ready draft. We will implement the new additions in the policy immediately. Currently, the approved policy will be tabled for discussion.”

HT on Wednesday reported that Kunte had cleared the revised policy.

The policy will be put before the civic standing committee for its approval and will be implemented in the city.

Corporator Vinod Shelar who has been following the issue said, “We will raise objection regarding the silence on annual NOC when the policy will be put forth for discussion. If the administration has been delaying it for revision according to the DoT norms, they should have done it. They are turning a blind eye towards some of the most important aspects.”


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