At least seventy percent of the members of a housing society will have to give their consent before installing mobile towers or hoardings for advertisements in society premises.
State cooperatives minister Harshvardhan Patil announced in state legislative council on Saturday that the state government will soon issue directions fixing the responsibilities of housing societies with regards to mobile towers and hoardings.
The notification, issued under section 79 (a) of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, will also state that fifty per cent of the revenue, garnered by renting the society terrace or premises for such installations, will go directly as dividends to the members themselves. As in case of redevelopment projects, which cannot go ahead without the consent of 70 per cent of flat-owners, in order to regulate indiscriminate mushrooming of cell towers, no new towers can be propped up without the nod of a majority of the residents from a housing society.
“Till date, the society secretary and chairman used to arbitarily give the nod for cell towers or commercial hoardings without seeking members’ consent. This will stop now as we have put a new system in place for the 90,000 cooperatives societies in Maharashtra,” said Patil. He added that the remaining 50 percent of the revenue will be used as security deposit for taking care of regular maintenance of the society.
As per a list compiled by the BMC, of the total 4,776 mobile towers in the city, 3,628 are illegal. The general body of the society will have to deliberate upon the possible adverse health effects before consenting to install the towers. Moreover members have to be provided a copy of the agreement letter between the society and the cell service provider or the ad agency. It should include with details the period that the installation has been allowed for, the number of such towers permitted and details on the security deposit taken. The general body has to ensure that a thorough structural audit of the building is carried out in order to ascertain whether it can withstand the weight of the cell tower.