Mumbai has 49% illegal telecom towers

Telecom Lead Asia: Maharashtra government says nearly 49 percent of cellphone towers in Mumbai are illegal.

Minister of state (urban development) Bhaskar Jadhav said that 1,830 of the 3,705 mobile towers in the city do not have requisite permissions. The figures are based on a citywide survey conducted in 2011.

These illegal mobile towers had come up due to deliberate neglect from civic officials and the police.

In October 2012, Milind Deora, minister of State, Communication & IT, inaugurated the system by launching the HELPLINE, dialing 99695 55000. The government has set up a complaint handling system for electro magnetic field (EMF) radiation from mobile towers in Mumbai. TCIL will take care testing of the site for EMF radiation. The complainant can get the site tested by paying Rs 4000 to TCIL.

The Maharashtra government will take action against the housing societies, ward officers and senior police inspectors whose neglet resulted in mushrooming of such towers.

BMC, which is required to erect mobile towers, had issued a new set of guidelines for mobile tower permissions in October 2011.

NCP’s Prakash Binsale says adverse impacts of mobile tower radiation and sought the government’s action plan in this regard.

While the BMC has already prepared its draft policy to regulate mobile towers, the minister indicated that other municipal corporations will soon follow suit.

In September 2012, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said it will take action against mobile operators such as Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices Maharashtra, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Aircel and Loop Telecom for violating new radiation norms. DoT officials had found that several operators are violating EMR guidelines in Mumbai. DoT will be taking action against these mobile operators.

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