4G towers pose 2-fold concern: Dug-up roads, radiation fears

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 13 Februari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Activists have raised concern over the issue of setting-up of 4G cellular network transmission towers. The cause for concern is two-fold—the BMC has given the go-ahead to set up these towers at gardens, the other issue, they said, is digging up of trenches across the entire road to expedite work such that it is completed before the onset of monsoon.

Reliance Industries Limited has secured a pan-India licence to provide 4G Telecom Services for which it needs to lay cables and set up towers. In a letter to BMC, they have requested BMC to issue permits for an entire stretch of a road within a ward at one time instead of break the permits in small trenches.

On this count, activists say they are already dealing with far too many civic issues regarding hawkers, parking woes and laying of new roads. Coordinator at Action for Good Governance and Networking in India, Rajkumar Sharma, said that if permission for the entire stretch of each road is given at one time, the road would remain dug up till the onset of monsoon.

Corporator from Bandra, Asif Zakaria, said that this can be a "huge hassle", as there is always some road work going on. "In Bandra, certain roads which were done last year itself are being dug up again to lay cables. The ward will become a war zone if the whole ward is dug up at one time," said Zakaria.

A senior civic official said they are ensuring that care is taken to have the towers away from children's play areas.

Sources at Reliance Jio Info Comm said the company had the necessary permissions from civic authorities. The towers were being set up in conformity with approvals and are not hazardous to public health, said the sources.

A member of Cellullar Operators' Association of India said mobile towers were needed to provide better phone connectivity and to ensure that there are no call drops in Mumbai.

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