Now, telecom operators will have to take welfare of wildlife into account while installing mobile phone towers.
The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) does not want operators to install mobile phone towers in wildlife areas without carrying out a proper ecological impact assessment.
The ministry also wants the government to make public the data on electro-magnetic radiation (EMR) so that people can understand its impact.
HT had in July highlighted adverse impacts of cellphone tower radiation on human health, a claim vehemently denied by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). Taking a safe agenda forward, the ministry sent an advisory to all state governments and the telecom ministry asking to enforce a new set of regulations.
Studies reviewed by the ministry had shown decline of up to 70% in population of honey bees close to towers and falling population of birds, especially sparrows, in cities. The ministry had found that radiation from mobile towers was obstructing flight path of birds too.
“Before according permission for construction of towers ecological impact study and review of installation of sites will be essential in wildlife or ecologically-important areas,” MoEF said in an advisory to states and the telecom ministry.