From September 1, radiation emitted by telecom towers will be limited to 1/10th of the existing level. The new norms will be introduced according to plan, after the department of telecommunications (DoT) rejected a demand by the industry to extend the deadline.
"There is no plan to defer the deadline of implementing the new radiation norms," R Chandrashekhar, DoT secretary, told Hindustan Times.
"We will strictly follow the deadline as public health is very important to the government," he added.
Earlier, in a representation to the communications ministry, the telecom industry had said that the radiation norms would impact the area of coverage of base transmission stations (BTS), which are installed on towers. This would in turn "deteriorate coverage".
However, once the DoT made it clear that it would not extend the deadline, the industry announced that about 95% of its towers were compliant with the new norms.
"For the other 5%, we are jointly working with the DoT to meet the new norms," said Rajan S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India.
Mathews, however, said that there was no scientific basis for the new norms, which were more stringent than the existing law.
The DoT has also rejected the demand of handset manufacturers to extend the deadline (September 1) for reducing radiation levels in handsets. The rate at which radiation is absorbed by the human body is measured by the specific absorption rate (SAR). From September 1, SAR levels in handsets will be reduced to 40% of its existing limit of 2 watt/kg.