THE improvements committee on Wednesday approved the civic body proposal of banning mobile towers on open spaces as well as regularising existing illegal mobile towers in the city. The BMC will be levying a one-time fee towards regularisation of illegal mobile towers.
The BMC’s decision to allow a particular telecom company to install 4G mobile towers in the city’s open spaces had drawn flak from people, including activists. The BMC had then identified at least 3025 illegal mobile towers and launched an inquiry against them. The matter is now pending in the Bombay High Court as part of a public interest litigation filed by citizen groups.
The BMC will be charging a registration fee of Rs 50,000 to regularise the illegal mobile towers, barring the ones on playgrounds, near hospitals and schools. Chairman of the improvements committee, Prakash Gangadhare, said, “The illegal mobile towers will keep coming up no matter what. But at least with this proposal, the BMC’s revenues will be improved.”
Members of the committee extended their support to the proposal after placing conditions of their own. Raju Pednekar, a Shiv Sena corporator said, “The BMC should not regularise mobile towers on top of illegal buildings since it wouldn’t make sense to legalise something built on an illegal structure. If we allow, then we are encouraging illegal activity.”
Similarly, former mayor and Sena corporator Shraddha Jadhav asked for monitoring of radiation levels to address citizen’s concerns over health issues from installing mobile towers.