Complainant Ajay Singh claims the tower was initially installed for a computer lab in the Prabhadevi school nine years ago, but it is being used as a mobile tower
After receiving several complaints from local residents, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally initiated the steps to demolish a mobile tower situated within the premises of Prabhadevi’s Municipal School-2.
The tower in the premises of the municipal school in Prabhadevi and opposite a maternity home. Pic/Emmanual Karbhari
According to the directives of the Urban Development Department of the state, mobile towers are prohibited anywhere within a three-metre radius of schools, colleges and hospital buildings, as the radiation from these towers have been linked to several harmful health effects.
The tower at Prabhadevi is not only in the vicinity of the school, but is also a stone’s throw away from a maternity home.On March 25, a local resident, Ajay Singh, who is also the general secretary of youth Congress, registered a complaint about how the tower has been there for the last nine years, without any permission.
“This is a clear case of flouting norms. The government has clearly stated that there should be no towers installed within three meters of schools, colleges and hospitals. And here, this tower is not only within the premises of the school, but also near Haji Mohammad Saboo Siddik Maternity Home, which expectant mothers visit regularly,” said Singh.
The tower was installed in 2005 for a computer lab in the school for the 1,200 students. Singh alleged that after some time, the company started to use the tower as a mobile tower without taking any permission. “What’s more, they have not even paid assessment tax to the BMC,” he added.
Following the complaint, BMC’s chief directed the education department to remove the tower as soon as possible. On July 31, the Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Education), Sunil Dhamne instructed the G-South ward office to take the necessary steps to demolish the tower.
“Following the state government’s directive, we have decided to the remove the mobile tower installed in school premises. I had given instructions to the local ward to remove the tower. The ward will take action as soon as possible,” informed Dhamne.
Speaking to mid-day, an officer from the ward office, said, “We have received orders from the education department to demolish the tower. As soon as we get police protection, we will complete the work.” “The permission was only for operating the computer lab. However, later the company started using this as a mobile tower and therefore, we have decided to demolish it,” said an officer from the education department.