The Department of Telecom has doubled penalty provision to Rs 10 lakh on companies whose mobile towers will be found violating radiation emission levels.
At the same time the department slashed upper penalty limit in the case of paper work related issues, mainly late submissions of certificates on complying with norms for setting up mobile towers, by 90%.
"In case of non-compliance of actual EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation norms, a penalty of Rs 10 lakh per base transceiver stations (BTS) per incidence shall be imposed," a DoT circular issued on November 20 said.
Earlier the maximum penalty for any violation related to radiation rules was Rs 5 lakh.
Under the new penalty slabs, a maximum of Rs 50,000 fine will be imposed for delays in submission of the 'self-certified' documents on norms, especially those pertaining to radiation emission.
Even in paper related issues, DoT had earlier imposed a maximum penalty of Rs 5 lakh even for minor issues.
As per industry estimates, DoT has levied penalty of Rs 1,900 crore as on middle of 2013, for violation of rules related to mobile towers and of the total only 1.2%related to violation of radiation level. About 64 % of this was document related to issues.
According to the new penalty slabs, telecom companies will have to submit compliance certificate within 15 days of switching on a mobile tower.
In case a company fails to abide by the deadline, it will have to pay Rs 5,000, Rs 20,000 for 15-30 days and Rs 50,000 for delay up to 60 days. The tower will have to be shut down in case the company fails to submit the certificate after the two-month period.
Similar, a penalty slab had been proposed for late submission of self-certificates in case of upgradation of mobile towers.
Under the new rules proposed, telecom operators may be asked to submit self-certificate for all installed mobile towers by March 2015.
The DoT has given time till December 31, 2013 for re-submission of self certificate as per new norms by those companies who have already submitted their documents.
In case of failure to adhere to deadline, a penalty of Rs 5,000 may be imposed on telecom companies if the delay is up to 30 days, Rs 20,000 for delay between 30 to 60 days and Rs 50,000 for delay up to 90 days. The companies will have to shut down their mobile tower if they fail to submit self-certificate of compliance within 90 days.
Telecom minister Kapil Sibal in a meeting a few months ago had asked DoT to relax penalties for paper submission related issues but increase penalty if companies violate radiation levels.