Malabar Hill residents write to CM on cell towers atop state bldg | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Malabar Hill residents write to CM on cell towers atop state bldg

The residents of three buildings located around Sahyadri, the state guesthouse at Malabar Hill in South Mumbai, have raised a stink over the huge number of mobile towers that have been put atop the terrace of the building.

mumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2011 01:24 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

The residents of three buildings located around Sahyadri, the state guesthouse at Malabar Hill in South Mumbai, have raised a stink over the huge number of mobile towers that have been put atop the terrace of the building.

On August 6, the residents of Cliff bungalow, Morarji Bungalow, Raj Niketan wrote to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan asking him to take action on the towers, located less than 50meters from their homes, making them high-radiation zones, which they fear will create health complications.

The state has come up with a draft policy for mobile towers, and has asked for objections and suggestions by September 2011. Although the draft rules stipulate for telecom operators to club towers to cut down their increasing numbers, they do not put any restriction on them mushrooming in residential areas and do not define the height at which they should be put up.

“We have taken signatures of people from these buildings and sent a representation to Chavan. There are children, pregnant women and senior citizens living in the area and we have asked for his intervention to remove the towers,” said Prakash Munshi, a resident of Raj Niketan, located opposite to the guesthouse.

The letter also states that the rent paid by the companies to put up the towers should be controlled.

The issue came to light when HT reported on July 1 about how actor Juhi Chawla brought the issue to the forefront when she got an electromagnetic radiation study done at her residence Veer Bhavan, located opposite Sahyadri, and found high levels of radiation. After crying foul, the direction of the towers was changed, pointing away from her house.

“The change in direction of towers increased radiation to other buildings. The entire community is concerned about the issue and there needs to be a study and survey done in Mumbai regarding this,” Munshi said.

IIT professor Girish Kumar from the electrical engineering department, who inspected the site in July, said, “People living within the 50m to 300m radius of the mobile towers are in the high radiation zone.”