Mumbai: Reliance Jio to set up 97 4G mobile towers on traffic islands

BMC’s traffic department has granted permission to Reliance Jio Infocomm to install the 4G towers; locals in many areas had protested against the installation in parks and open spaces

The Traffic Department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has granted permission to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd to set up 4G mobile towers on 97 traffic islands.

The mobile towers are 25 metres in height and their ground area is 2 metres. Representation pic
The mobile towers are 25 metres in height and their ground area is 2 metres. Representation pic

Locals had protested against the installation of these 4G towers in parks and open spaces. An official of the BMC Traffic Department said, “Reliance Jio had applied for 165 mobile towers to be set up in Mumbai but only 97 have been permitted so far”.

After the Reliance applications, the Traffic Department of BMC started studying if the set-up of the 4G towers on traffic islands was a good idea, and if the traffic or pedestrians would experience any inconvenience. Reliance Jio had suggested the sites.

An official said, “Since the past three months we have been studying the effects of 4G towers.” The executive engineer of traffic and coordination, J B Patel said, “We have completed the study of mobile tower set-ups and have submitted it to BMC’s building proposal department. We were told to mainly study if the public will have to face any inconvenience due to these towers.”

The maximum applications were received for K-west, H-east, G-north, G-south and F-north wards. Locals have protested the 4G towers in Bandra, Chembur and other areas.

ACB to probe into laying of 4G cable network
Deputy Chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council, Vasant Davkhare, directed the state government on Wednesday to conduct an ACB inquiry into the permission given to Reliance Jio Infocomm for laying of the 4G cable network to set up cell towers in Thane district.

Davkhare also asked the government to establish a committee to conduct a survey, to assess if mobile towers, which are already in place in Thane, pose a threat to the health of residents living in their vicinity. The question was raised by NCP MLC Niranjan Davkhare who sought to know the reason behind the rise in cost for trenching.

Why did the Thane Municipal Corporation permit trenching to lay the 4G cables by Reliance initially at Rs 72 per sq ft, but later the cost was increased to Rs 1500 per sq ft, he asked. The MLC alleged a corruption of R200 crore saying he did not agree with the basic charges. - Agencies

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