More than 200 Dadar residents came together at Parsi Colony on Sunday morning to protest the increasing number of mobile phone towers and to create an awareness about the effects of radiation emitted from them. Residents demanded that illegal towers in the city be brought down by the civic body.
Other demands made included stricter norms such as putting a cap on the number of towers on a building, monitoring radiation levels, maintaining a safe distance between a building and antennae of mobile towers and conducting surprise audits.
“We are still awaiting the high court’s go-ahead to lift a stay order on the civic body regarding the removal of illegal mobile towers,” said activist Prakash Munshi, while addressing residents. Dr Ashish Mehta of Breach Candy hospital and actor Juhi Chawla also spoke to the gathering, raising concerns.
Harsha Gandhi, a cancer survivor, said, “Since my house is exposed to high levels of radiation, I have no option but to use an aluminium mesh on windows.” Gandhi has survived ovarian cancer.
“When we approached the building where the towers were erected, they told us to compensate the amount they received from the service providers,” said Gandhi, a resident of Shree Samarth at Dadar Parsi Colony. Another resident in the building is also fighting cancer because of exposure to radiation from mobile towers atop the nearby Sohrab House.
Juhi Chawla, who has been successful in removing some towers in Malabar Hill, has demanded that a list of dos and don’ts of using a phone be issued while purchasing one. “This way even a less-educated person can understand what practices should be avoided,” she said.
However, a statement issued by Cellular Operators Association of India, said, “Such programs are causing unwarranted fears amongst residents. We are working closely with the department of telecom and other government bodies to clarify all issues concerning installation and functioning of telecom towers.”