Concerned over the rise in number of cancer cases, allegedly owing to mobile phone towers, Santacruz (West) residents, on Sunday, held a protest march asking housing societies to take action and remove towers put atop their buildings.
More than 50 residents living near Khar subway held placards and requested societies to withdraw the contract signed with the telecom companies.
“There are cancer patients in the area and we got worried after the new towers were put up,” said Ernest Louis, resident, Casa Feliz. Around 10 buildings within 1,000 metres of the residential complex have mobile phone towers atop their structure. In the past two years, 12 cases of cancer have been registered and 5 have already succumbed.
Cancer survivor Tony Barraetto said, “It started with fatigue and sleeplessness after which I realised I had developed cancer,” he said, adding that three similar cases in the same building led him to believe it could be owing to the radiation from the mobile phone towers.
Residents are also protesting as there are two schools and a hospital nearby. Joan Shenoy, resident said, “We have found several instances of cancer in nearby buildings, which is more than just a co-incidence. I can’t understand why the civic body body allows towers atop buildings in such a populated residential locality.”
“We spoke to the secretary of the societies and requested them to consider the health ramifications the towers could have on others in their locality. We managed to convince a few to cancel the renewal of contract,” said Ivan Saldanha, resident, Royale.