Reiterating the need for even lower mobile tower radation norms, residents of Malabar Hill have written to union minister for communications and information technology Milind Deora, saying that the recently-launched system for handling radiation complaints would be futile if the permissible radiation limit was not reduced.
On September 1, the union government revised the permissible limit of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation emission from 4500 milliwatts/square metre to 450 milliwatts/ square metre.
However, activists and city residents have claimed that even this is too high. They said that they have come across instances where people have complained of health hazards even when the radiation levels were as low as three MW per sq m.
"After residents complained about headaches and dizziness on account of suspected high levels of radiation, we got the radiation levels from the tower in our area measured," said Prakash Munshi, Malabar Hill resident and anti-radiation campaigner.
"The radiation levels were around three MW per sq m. On what basis could the union government set a standard limit that was as high as 450 MW sq m?" argued Munshi.
The letter, sent to the minister on October 12, demands to know how they arrived at the radiation limit. "Please advise what the highest reading observed so far by the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring Cells all over the country was, before arriving at the revised Upper Limit of EMF radiation of 450 MW per sq m," stated the letter.
Residents have also demanded a clarification of the other revised norms laid down by the ministry and have sought to understand the complaint system in detail.
"Distance from residences, the height at which the antennae need to be set up, whether the antennae are legally installed or not are a few of the points covered under the revised norms that need to be talked about," said actress Juhi Chawla, resident and anti-radiation campaigner.