More than 700 Mumbaiites have signed up on the government's complaint handling system ever since its launch in October this year.
Of the 450 complaints that have been attended to so far - in exchange of a processing fee of Rs 4,000 a complaint - showcause notices have been sent to three operators for violating the revised electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation norms of 450 milliwatts/square metre.
"Most complaints have come from residential colonies and cooperative housing societies who fear the implications of radiation emission from mobile towers," said a senior official from the union department of telecommunication. "If possible, we will try and compile which areas in the city have registered the maximum number of complaints and then decide on a course of action," he said.
HT has been carrying a series of reports on the suspected health effects of exposure to mobile phone tower radiation over the past few months. As per the procedure laid out by the DoT, a three-member monitoring committee is supposed to visit the complainant's house to measure the radiation emission readings in every room. Based on the measurements, a report is prepared by the team and submitted to the complainant within 10 days.
Anti-radiation campaigners and experts, however, claimed that in reality, a larger number of people would have responded to the system had there been more clarity. "By making it mandatory for people to pay Rs 4,000 for only a report on the radiation measures, the system cannot be used by everyone," said Vinod Shah, a resident of Carmichael Road resident.
Other residents, who had got their houses and offices measured through the system complained about the discrepancies in the report. "Despite paying Rs 4,000, I was given a very vague report with only measurements of electro-magnetic field radiation. There was no mention of a standard norm or other determining factors, making it difficult for a layman to comprehend," said Jitendra Gupta, a Kurla resident.