Over the past year, residential and commercial buildings across the city have cancelled or not renewed the lease agreements of 86 mobile phone towers, despite the lure of high rent, as awareness about the suspected health hazards of radiation spreads.
Several of these towers had multiple antennae. Residents of Horizon building in upscale Pali Hill, Bandra (west), are among the many Mumbaiites who have decided not to renew the lease; the society's lease ends on December 1.
"There is increased concern about the suspected health risks of radiation," said Madhu Poplai from Pali Hill Residents' Association, who lives next door to Horizon.
"There are 18 buildings in the area with towers. Because operators pay high rent, it is difficult to convince societies to remove the towers."
Cellular operators said misinformation has affected their coverage and capacity-building operations.
"Information about suspected health issues due to exposure to radiation has led to fear. Over the past year, lease agreements of 86 towers have been cancelled or not renewed," said Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators' Association of India.