With citizen memorandums pouring in from around the country on the issue of norms on mobile phone tower installations, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology could extend the existing two-week deadline by an additional week.
Officials said the response has been overwhelming right from the day of the announcement on February 23.
“As this is a sensitive issue, we have been receiving responses from citizens, citizen groups and experts across the country. Most of them have also demanded personal meetings to express their stand,” said committee deputy secretary Dr Sagarika Dash.
“In case we receive detailed and well-researched responses from citizens on mobile tower radiation and installations, we are willing to extend the deadline in order to ensure wider consultations,” she added.
The committee, headed by Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Rao Inderjit Singh is examining the norms for setting up of telecom towers, its harmful effects and the setting up of security standards in the expansion of telecom facilities.
In September 2012, the union Department of Telecommunication (DoT) revised the electromagnetic field radiation norms to 450 milliwatts/ square metres.
Over the past few months, HT has been carrying a series of reports on suspected health hazards posed by exposure to electromagnetic field radiation emitted from mobile phone towers.
In Mumbai, citizen groups have been organising meetings to discuss and prepare their memorandums to be sent to the committee. However, even they criticised the two-week deadline.
“In order to ensure that the memorandum is foolproof, we have to compile several medical reports, telecom data and other evidence,” said Malabar Hill resident Prakash Munshi, who along with representatives from citizen forums from Bandra, Peddar Road, Cuffe Parade are submitting a joint memorandum.
“The procedure of compilation is time-consuming. So, a deadline extension would be necessary,” he said.