School ignores warning, sticks to cell towers

An educational institute under the jurisdiction of Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has turned a deaf ear to demands by the civic body for removal of five cellphone towers erected on the building’s terrace. 

Ideal English High School and Junior College at Kalyan.
Without care: A cell tower on the Ideal English High School and Junior College at Kalyan. Pic/Sunil Tiwari

The brazenness of the indifference becomes apparent from the fact that despite KDMC’s warning on November 18 that if Ideal English High School and Junior College did not dismantle the structures within eight days the corporation would do the needful and recover the demolition cost from the institute, not one of the towers has come down.

A similar order had earlier been issued by the education department, but that too failed to elicit the desired response.

Acting on social worker Laxman Chauhan’s complaint on November 18, KDMC issued the notice (copy available with MiD DAY) to the institute, notifying that erecting cell towers on the building’s terrace has been recognised as ‘illegal construction’.

On August 23, Chauhan complained (copy available with MiD DAY) to several authorities mentioning that the college had erected five mobile towers without securing permission from KDMC. The towers are also likely to have an adverse impact on the health of students and local residents, he added.

The college is run by Ramakant Upadhyay, a former BJP councillor and director of a pharmacy college and Kalyan Janata Sahkari Bank under the banner Adarsh Shikshan Mandal. “Upadhyay is a powerful man in Kalyan. So authorities are avoiding taking action against the college,” alleged Chauhan.

Taking cognisance of the matter on January 28, 2011 the circle officer submitted a report (copy available with this newspaper) to the tehsildar suggesting KDMC remove the towers, as they were detrimental towards the health of students. On April 19 this year, the district education officer issued a notice (MiD DAY has a copy) to the college asking for the unauthorised structures to be dislodged. 

The other side
“I have not received the KDMC notice as I was out of town. Obtaining permission is responsibility of the mobile companies. I just collect the rent. The complainant Chauhan is jobless and is trying to blackmail me. Why does he harass educational institutes only? This news will not affect me. People will read it with momentary enthusiasm and forget it in a few days,” said Ramakant Upadhayay, chairman of Adarsh Shikshan Mandal.

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