Already under the scanner for saddling the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) with multi-crore arrears towards taxes for installing mobile towers on private properties, telecom operators and their agents are now on radar for misleading the civic body.
The matter came to light after BJP corporator Nayna Mhatre registered a complaint with the civic administration seeking action against a mobile tower in the Morwa village area near Bhayandar which had been installed on a location which was different to that for which the telecom operator and his architect had taken permission.
After conducting a site visit, officials attached to the MBMC’s town planning found that the location was indeed faulty, following which a notice was issued to the telecom operator and the architect who secured the permission on behalf of the landowner to clarify their stand on the issue.
The notice which was issued on November 4, has been tagged with a warning of penal action. The nod to install the mobile tower of a reputed telecom company was given on a property named Shagird Open Plot in Morwa village which is said to be owned by an influential contractor in the MBMC.
It has also been alleged that besides changing the location, mangroves were also destroyed to install the mobile tower. Mobile operators have to submit documents including structural stability certificate, permission from the telecom department and NOC’s from societies/ landowners to secure an official nod from the town planning wing.
As per official records, out of the total 718 mobile towers installed across the twin-city, 176 towers are yet to get official permission under the standard norms and guidelines of government authorities, while some who were granted permission have failed to re-validate their annual contract. In the current fiscal, the MBMC is yet to recover more than Rs 51.31 crores including penal interest from 718 towers mobile towers including 176 which have been tagged as illegal inviting penalty in the form of triple taxation.