"We were laying Wi-Fi cables for residents of Shivaji Nagar. We did not dig any roads or foothpaths. In fact, we laid the cables in the trenches already constructed for rainwater harvesting projects. So why would we need permission," asked Deshpande.
"We had given a proposal to the BMC in this regard. Today, the civic body will send us a check list in this regard, following which we will get permissions to carry out the work," said Deshpande.
Shiv Sena leader Yashodhar Phanase said, "We are also waiting for permissions from the BMC and the the cyber crime cell of the police to lay internet cables in our area," Phanase said.
Mayor Sunil Prabhu said the MNS had been digging up a public place to install a Wi-Fi system without the BMC's permission. "If a common man would have dug up a public place to set up Wi-Fi without permission, the civic body would have lodged an FIR against him. So, I instruct the BMC to file an FIR against the public representative concerned and confiscate cables used for installing the system and hand it over to police," said the mayor during the BMC's general body meeting.
Meanwhile, the Congress targeted both the MNS and Shiv Sena over the issue. "I have spoken to civic chief Sitaram Kunte in this regard. Kunte has admitted that such a project can't be run without the requisite permission from the cyber cell of city police given the safety aspect involved. So, if any party tries to launch Wi-Fi system without required permissions, we will stage protests," said Janardan Chandurkar, chief of Congress' Mumbai unit.
When asked, Kunte confirmed to have taken action against the MNS in this regard. "We will have to check cyber security and other aspects before giving permission to any such project," he said.