Pay fine if your building has an illegal cell tower | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Pay fine if your building has an illegal cell tower

If the mobile phone tower installed in your building is illegal, you may soon have to pay a fine, as unauthorised mobile phone towers in housing societies and educational institutes, could be the first to be targeted in the state government’s crackdown. Reetika Subramanian reports.

mumbai Updated: Apr 04, 2013 01:20 IST
Reetika Subramanian

If the mobile phone tower installed in your building is illegal, you may soon have to pay a fine, as unauthorised mobile phone towers in housing societies and educational institutes, which form 30% of the 1,830 illegal towers across the city, could be the first to be targeted in the state government’s crackdown.

On Tuesday, Bhaskar Jadhav, minister of state for urban development, announced in the legislative council that punitive action would be initiated against illegal towers across the city.

The Bombay high court’s 2012 stay order preventing action on towers owned by five operators, however, means that 70% of the illegal towers, which they own, can’t be touched, say officials.

“We will be able to initiate action against only a few of the listed illegal towers. Further action can be initiated only after the stay is vacated,” said an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s development plan department.

Once the BMC receives the state government’s directive, it will start removing illegal towers that are not protected by the stay order, officials said.

A penalty will be levied on the errant tower operator and housing society, but there is no clarity as to how much it would be.

“If the stay is not vacated, the minister’s assurances will be half-baked,” said Prakash Munshi, activist and resident of Malabar Hill.

“All mobile phone towers were installed as per provisions of the policies that existed at that point in time,” said TK Dua from the Tower Owners’ Association.