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BMC panel makes 3 critical changes to mobile tower policy

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

The improvements committee of the civic body on Tuesday cleared the mobile tower policy for the city with three major changes that would help cell tower companies.

The policy is likely to be taken up for discussion by the general body of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday.

The panel has proposed reducing the minimum distance of 100 metres set between a cell tower and school/hospital to just 3 metres.

It has also suggested that there should be no need to specifically seek the consent of residents of the top floor of a building where a mobile antenna is to be installed, and that the permission of 70 per cent of the residents should suffice.

Third, the committee has said that the authorities should not insist on telecom operators getting the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearance to put up cell towers in coastal areas.

"It would be inappropriate to seek CRZ clearance for installing antennas on top of buildings that already have the requisite permission. This would have led to unnecessary procedure. Hence, we have suggested that the municipality should not seek a CRZ no-objection certificate," said Dnyanmurti Sharma, a BJP corporator.

Sharma also said that the clause about the minimum distance between a cell tower and school/hospital was impractical to execute in a city like Mumbai.

The BJP corporator explained that the members of the committee proposed the changes in the policy to bring it in line with the guidelines set by the state government.

If the general body approves the policy, it will require the approval of the state urban development department.

"We are pushing for final approval of the policy on Wednesday. Hopefully, it will be cleared so there is clarity on guidelines to be followed before action is taken against illegal towers," said Ram Barot, head of the improvements committee.

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