Monday, May 13, 2013
6 Cancer Cases in Parsi Colony near Mobile Phone Towers - DNA - 22 April 2013 - Page 3
‘Cancerous’ cell phone towers panic Parsi Colony
6 cancer cases in 3 yrs, residents call meet to devise strategy
DNA - 22 April 2013 - Page 3
Freny Kavarana, a resident of Shree Samarth building in Dadar’s Parsi Colony, says that she feels “horrible” when sitting in her room. Operated for a cancerous tumour in her stomach last year, Kavarana and three other people in her building blame cell phone tower radiation for the disease. Despite minister of state for communications and information and technology, Milind Deora, stating that there is no proof that radiation from cell phone towers is hazardous to health, citizens continue to be apprehensive.
After six cases of cancer were reported in the past three years in the neighbourhood, the residents of the Parsi Colony are a panicked lot. They have put up banners and distributed handbills in the area, inviting people for a meeting on April 28, protesting against the cell phone towers on buildings in the vicinity.
Kavarana, who is still undergoing treatment post her surgery last year, says, “I can’t prove it, but people like me — who have suffered from cancer — have a strong suspicion that it is due to the cell phone towers that came up around here a few years ago.”
Aditya Gandhi, whose mother was detected with ovarian cancer in 2010, says, “Our window opens up to cell phone towers which are less than 35 metres away, on the third floor terrace of the adjoining building.”
Some residents have spent large amounts of money putting up radiation films to obstruct the radiation emitted from these towers. Avaa Jassawalla, who lives in Boman Lodge on Dr Ambedkar Road, spent over Rs1.5 lakh to put up such films two months ago. “I am unable to enjoy the view from my penthouse apartment, only because of the towers that are just 15 metres away,” she says.
Chunabhatti hsg society’s protests fall on deaf ears
Residents of a housing society in Chunabhatti, Sion, have been protesting against two mobile towers on their building, but their pleas are falling on deaf ears. They claim that their builder has been pocketing the rent paid by the service providers for the towers.
The construction of the building in question, Swami Samarth, started back in 2000, and by 2005, seven floors of the building were ready. Two years later, the builders, Bhandup-based Shree Swami Samarth Developers, allowed two telecom service providers to install towers on the building.
“It was only in November 2010 that we managed to form a housing society, but the developer tried stopping us by complaining to the registrar of cooperative housing societies saying that the signatures of two residents had been forged,” says Kunjanna Shetty, a resident of the building. Even applications filed under the Right to Information Act by the residents at the local Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation office proved futile, with officials saying they were unable to trace the files of their building.
A seventh floor resident, Sarla Gangar, says, “The builder is not even doing anything to get the occupation certificate for the building. For over seven years now, we have been requesting him to start the process of getting the mandatory certificate issued, but he doesn’t care.”
Residents claim that the builder earns around Rs8-10 lakh annually as rent from these two cell phone towers.
Justifying their actions, Sandeep Jalgaonkar of Shree Swami Samarth Developers says, “Earlier, this building did not have any Floor Space Index; it was I who got the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) at a cost of Rs40-50 lakh, and now, I need to recover my expenses.”
Coverage in DNA - April29-2013-Pages 1 and 7-Dadar