The full-length windows in Narendra Doshi’s Mulund (West) flat are covered with a dark film that has electronic chips attached to the side. The film is meant to protect the Doshis from radiation from the 3 mobile phone antennae on the building wall.
Doshi is among a growing number of Mumbaiites protecting themselves from such radiation. While there is conflicting research on the harmful effect of such radiation, housing societies can earn up to Rs 1 lakh a month in rent from mobile phone firms to allow signal boosting towers and antennae on their buildings.
Doshi, a financial consultant, started researching the harmful effects of radiation after his daughter-in-law delivered a premature baby. In April, a private firm found the radiation levels in his house to be 70 milliwatt/metre square. Though this was below the permissible limit in India (4,500 milliwatt/metre square), the international standard is 1 milliwatt/metre square.
“We do not have any proof the tower is a health hazard. But we cannot wait for health problems to take precautions,” said Doshi’s neighbour, Biju Sumugan.
“People contact us when they start getting headaches or sleep disorders,” said Neha Kumar, director, NESA Radiation Solutions, which has installed such films in about 20 city homes. “The shield reduces 99% of the radiation,” claimed Kumar’s father, Girish Kumar, a professor at IIT-B.