Dissatisfied with the action taken by authorities against mobile tower radiation, and increasingly concerned about its health hazards, south Mumbai residents have decided to take the issue into their own hands.
Accompanied by technical experts from the US, residents will visit more than 10 spots in the island city, including hospitals, schools and residential areas, to measure the intensity of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation emitted by mobile towers atop buildings in the vicinity. These include the Happy Home and School for the Blind in Worli, Haji Ali Juice Centre, Jaslok Hospital and the Ambani residence at Cuffe Parade.
The measuring tour, which will begin on Sunday morning, will consider parameters such as the EMF radiation reading, the height of the tower and distance between the antenna and the building next door.
HT has been carrying a series of reports on the health hazards of mobile tower radiation and follow-up action by authorities. There are around 1,800 illegal mobile towers in the city.
"It is about time citizens take matters into their own hands. In our institution alone, seven cases of cancer have been reported among students and teachers," said Meher Banaji, director, Happy Home and School for the Blind, which has a mobile tower located diagonally across.
Citizens are also unhappy with the Department of Telecom's (DoT) complaint handling system launched in the city in October, to measure mobile tower radiation. Citizens claimed that despite having to shell out a processing charge of Rs. 4,000, the system is not exhaustive.
"The system only measures the EMF radiation, without considering other parameters such as height, distance and power transmission. Thus, we decided to conduct the tour and individually measure radiations in each buildings," said anti-radiation campaigner Prakash Munshi.