Corporators want to regularise more than 1,600 illegal mobile phone towers that have mushroomed in the city. But there is a rider: the mobile phone companies will have to pay a fine of at least Rs 1 lakh per tower.
The notice of motion, a written demand made by Manmohan Chonkar, a Shiv Sena corporator, was approved in the civic general body meeting on Friday.
The motion says the civic body should regularise the illegal mobile phone signal transmission towers, but penalise the company for the same. So far, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been charging a nominal fee of Rs 5,000 for regularising a tower.
Chonkar, a corporator from Bandra, wrote to mayor Shraddha Jadhav demanding that if the civic body wasn’t able to take stern action against the illegal towers, then it should regularise them by imposing minimum Rs 1 lakh fine. “The amount charged at present is too less. The civic body should at least charge hefty fine which would help increase BMC’s revenue,” said Chonkar.
In the past 10 years, the civic body has recovered only Rs 24,708 as fine for 145 mobile towers. “The BMC could not demolish illegal towers or seize any equipment due to a state government directive against doing so,” said a civic official.
Nearly 50% of the mobile towers that exist in the city are illegal.
The civic body’s latest survey shows that there are 3,489 mobile towers in the city and more than 90% are on terrace of buildings. Of these, only 1,861 are legal.
According to the survey, Bandra, Khar, Santacruz and east side of Vile Parle, Andheri and Jogeshwari have 568 illegal mobile towers. H-East ward (east of Bandra, Khar, Santacruz) has 96, H-West ward (west of Bandra, Khar, Santacruz) has 211, and K-East ward (east of Vile Parle, Andheri and Jogeshwari) has 261 mobile phone towers that have been erected without the civic body’s permission.
According to the Development Control rule amended in 2,000, mobile companies need to get structural stability certificate from a certified architect and housing society’s no-objection certificate to put-up a tower on terrace.
The approved notice of motion about the fine will now be sent to the municipal commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya for his remarks. Kshatriya was not available for comment.