New mobile tower policy cleared
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday cleared the mobile tower policy with provisions to regularise illegal mobile phone towers, but only after three amendments in the original draft.
The amendments were made after corporators suggested keeping a minimum distance of 30m between two mobile towers, instead of the existing three metres.
They also suggested a yearly check on the radiation level at towers as well as making it mandatory to put up a statutory board that says the radiation level is within permissible limits.
Former mayor and Shiv Sena corporator Dr Shubha Raul said, “The radiation from mobile towers should be checked more stringently. Currently, there is no fixed time to check the levels. This should be done at least once a year.”
“A board that says radiation is within the standard limit should also be made mandatory. This will ease the apprehension among those living in buildings with mobile towers.”
Another Shiv Sena corporator Raju Pednekar said, “The distance between two towers should be minimum 30m instead of the proposed three metres as there are antennas mounted on top of the buildings.”
Another corporator suggested not allowing any mobile towers near illegal slums. The civic body has also made it mandatory to produce papers to prove the buildings selected for setting up the towers have been legally constructed.
Improvement committee chairman Prakash Gangadhare had directed including these suggestions in the policy.
Meanwhile, citizens are seeking clarity of the policy because in 2014, there was another policy prepared by the civic body itself.
“There is confusion created by this policy as the civic body already has a policy. How is there another policy if court cases are pending?,” said Munshi.
Civic officials said this policy is for regularisation illegal towers and levying a fee on that.
There was no clarity in the previous policy on charging telecom companies over regularisation, leading to a loss of revenue, officials said. Now, with this policy, the civic body will recover the money, and pave the way for charging the mobile companies.