In what could be a major reprieve for many Mumbaiites, the civic body will not renew licences of mobile phone towers installed atop educational institutions, orphanages, child correction homes and hospitals. The towers shall be removed immediately after the expiry of its approval period.
The provisions are part of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) draft policy (a copy of which is with HT) on installation of mobile phone towers. The draft has been sent to municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte for his assent.
“We received complaints from authorities of schools and colleges, who feared the implications of exposure to mobile tower radiation,” said a senior civic official.
On November 14, HT had reported how the draft policy had banned installation of mobile towers above schools and hospitals.
The draft policy has also stated that mobile towers shall not be allowed on any building within three metres from an educational institution or hospital.
Speaking on the BMC’s decision to not renew licences, Rajan Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said: “We are of the opinion that if such a policy is implemented, mobile phone services will be adversely affected. There is already a subtle effect on the coverage by 20% and one may see a lot of congestion and deterioration of services.”