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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Citizens launch drives, seek suggestions to draft policy

Reetika Subramanian, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 08, 2013
First Published: 01:44 IST(8/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:46 IST(8/2/2013)

With just 11 days till the deadline to submit suggestions and objections to the civic body’s draft policy on the installation of mobile phone towers, citizens are using signature campaigns, door-to-door calls, pamphlets and posts on social media sites to create awareness on the policy and the possible health threats caused by exposure to Electro Magnetic Field Radiation (EMFR).

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“We have distributed copies of draft objections to the policy to managing committees of societies in our neighbourhood. We have also sent e-mails to residents,” said Vickram Crishna from Action Against Cell Towers, Bandra.

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) frames norms regarding the installation of mobile phone towers, radiation emission issues are dealt with by the union Department ofTelecommunication.

Amendments proposed by citizens include scrutiny of the policy by the fire brigade to study hazards posed by faulty electric cabling in mobile towers, lifting the proposed ban on entry to the terrace of buildings with towers and getting the consent of residents of the top two floors of a building before installing a new tower atop it.

In south Mumbai, residents are using an online signature campaign, Facebook and Twitter to urge Mumbaiites to submit their recommendations.

“We have been circulating e-mails and using social media to explain the draft policy and the findings of research papers on the issue,” said Malabar Hill resident Prakash Munshi, adding that they had already received 1,000 responses so far.

In Dahisar, Vinayak Chavan has been personally getting in touch with neighbourhood residents to create awareness and prompt action on the issue.

“With only a few days left for the submission, I have been talking to committee members of neighbourhood buildings, explaining the possible health hazards posed by exposure to mobile phone towers and the need to submit their suggestions to the draft policy,” said Chavan.


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