A month after the state government called for action against all illegal mobile towers in the city, the BMC has decided to publish a fresh census report of all the legal and illegal towers, and upload their findings on the web by the end of June. At present, the data available with the civic body is three years old.
Confirming this, civic chief Sitaram Kunte said that the survey of the towers was already in progress. Kunte also added that the revised policy on the installation of new mobile towers in the city would be cleared by mid-July. “However, it is still subject to the corporation passing it in the general body meeting,” said Kunte.
On Thursday, representatives of citizen groups met Kunte to discuss the implications of delays in finalising the policy, and findings of the study that doctors from the civic-run KEM hospital had undertaken on the suspected correlation between exposure to electromagnetic field radiation and health hazards.
HT has been carrying a series of reports over the past few months on the suspected correlation between mobile phone towers and health hazards, following which the civic body invited citizens’ suggestions and objections to its draft policy.
“Since the report published by KEM hospital was unclear on the exact correlation, we asked for a review of the study, keeping in mind the high density of population in the city and the illegalities involved,” said BJP corporator Vinod Shelar. “There is a need to set up flying squads to keep a check on illegal towers.”
Malabar Hill resident Prakash Munshi lamented that the civic body’s efforts would be futile unless the stay order issued on several illegal towers in the city was vacated. “The authorities are not paying heed to health hazards caused by exposure to radiation emitted from the antennae,” said Munshi.