It took almost five months for the state government to pay heed to the complaints of actor Juhi Chawla and residents of Malabar Hill, who feared that the mobile towers atop the state guest house, Sahyadri, at Malabar Hill, were emitting harmful radiation.
Following their complaints, the state had ordered the removal of 13 of total 14 mobile phone towers in this area.
The government had also given a notice to mobile phone companies to remove the harmful towers within two weeks, following which the state brought down these towers on Tuesday.
The residents of Malabar Hill, who had been complaining against these harmful towers for long, heaved a sigh of relief. “Late afternoon, we saw that there were people from the mobile phone companies removing the towers. It has been a long struggle,” said Prakash Munshi, resident of Raj Niketan, who had initiated a banner campaign against these towers. Munshi said that this was just the beginning of a ‘bigger-movement’ towards getting a ‘healthy’ cell-tower policy.
The issue came to light five months back when HT had reported on July 1 about how actor Juhi Chawla, who lives at Veer Bhavan, bang opposite Sahyadri, had brought the issue on the forefront when she carried an independent audit of electro magnetic radiation (EMR) in her 9-storey building.
She had approached the government when she found that radiation levels were far above the permissible range. Chawla, however, referred to this as ‘a beginning’.
“This is just a beginning to a movement where we as citizens have the right to know what is healthy for us. There needs to be technology but we need to define how it should be used,” she said.