As the state government plans to intensify its action against illegal mobile towers, several housing societies in the city could face the heat.
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s report in 2010, of the 3,705 mobile towers in the city, 1,830 are illegal. However, hundreds of towers have come up after 2010. Apart from the civic authorities and police officials, society members responsible for erecting the illegal towers would also be punished.
Residents and activists have welcomed the move. “The government should set a deadline to bring down the illegal towers,” said activist Prakash Munshi.
Bhaskar Jadhav, minister of state for urban development, said that when the BMC had initiated action against illegal mobile towers in 2010, telecom companies had moved the high court and obtained a stay on it. “We are examining the matter to see whether the stay is just for shifting or it includes other conditions too. We will discontinue the power supply to the towers,” he said.
City residents are also pushing for the finalisation of the draft policy formed by the civic body for installation of mobile towers. Actor Juhi Chawla, who managed to get a few illegal towers removed, said, “Many more regulations are needed to ensure citizens’ safety. I hope the government will take our problems into consideration and stand by us.”
Anand Gokani, physician from Bombay Hospital, said, “Hundreds of people have been complaining of serious illnesses owing to the mobile towers. We need to monitor whether the radiation limits are adhered to or not.”
Tony Baraetto, a cancer survivor from Santacruz, who suspects mobile towers near his building as the reason for his illness, said, “I am glad that action has been taken in time.”