Sources in the department of telecommunication, which is implementing the pilot project in Mumbai, said its officials will swiftly measure radiation levels at a cost and submit a report on each complaint. Operators whose towers emit radiation higher than the limit of 450 milliwatts/sq m will have to pay a fine of Rs5 lakh.
As reported in HT earlier, it is common for people living close to mobile towers to experience headaches, joint pains, anxiety, lack of concentration, sleep disturbances; cancer happens in extreme cases.
Experts said the helpline would make little difference as the revised permissible limit of 450 milliwatts/sq m, enforced from September 1, is high. “Citizens suffer even when levels are below 100 milliwatts/sq m. Unless the permissible limit is brought down, the mechanism will consider high levels as safe,” said Prakash Munshi, anti-radiation campaigner.
The DoT has started addressing the problem of lack of adequate equipment and staff at its Telecom Enforcement and Monitoring cell in Mumbai, which has 150 pending complaints.