‘Need stricter norms to avoid illegal cell towers’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Need stricter norms to avoid illegal cell towers’

The municipal corporation has regularised 1,107 illegal mobile towers since 2007, but without having rigid guidelines in place for those coming up.

mumbai Updated: Nov 30, 2010 01:29 IST
HT Correspondent

The municipal corporation has regularised 1,107 illegal mobile towers since 2007, but without having rigid guidelines in place for those coming up.

Civic officials in the improvements committee meeting on Monday said they have regularised 344 illegal mobile towers in the city, 279 in the western suburbs and 484 towers in the eastern suburbs until October.

“The BMC should first come up with guidelines to avoid new illegal towers to come up in the city. Till then, the proposal to regularise these illegal mobile towers will be kept under consideration,” said Manoj Kotak, chairman of the civic improvements committee.

In all, 3,357 mobile towers had sough permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) after 2007, and till date 2,250 are yet to get permission.

The members of the improvements committee said that the Rs 5,000 penalty levied on network providers while regularising them was a paltry sum.

They suggested that the corporation increase the penalty to Rs 1 lakh to rein in these errant firms.

Corporators said the BMC should also evaluate health aspects that are linked to the radiations from the towers before granting permission. “The BMC must prepare a white paper, which should include remarks from BARC officials, the pollution control board and other competent health agencies,” suggested Congress corporator Vinod Shekhar.

In 2007, the state government has asked the BMC to initiate action against illegal mobile towers under the Maharashtra Regional And Town Planning Act.

“Till date, the BMC has only taken action against 145 towers and collected a negligible sum of Rs 24,708. Which means for every illegal tower the BMC collected Rs 170.40,” said Manmohan Chonkar, Shiv Sena corporator.

The corporators said that the BMC should fix an age criterion for buildings beyond which installing of towers should not be allowed.

“According to the law, before installing mobile towers the building should get a structural audit done by an engineer. But in most cases this aspect of safety is neglected,” Jagdish Sawant, Sena corporator, pointed out.