Reducing the permissible radiation limit for mobile phone towers may not necessarily help reduce the health hazards, say citizen groups.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has reduced the permissible radiation limit for mobile tower radiations from 4500 and 9000 milliwatt/sqm to 450 and 900 milliwatt/sqm. The rule will come into effect across the country from Saturday.
Vinod Shah, member, Indian for safe environment citizen group, said, “Cases of cancer, amnesia, joint pains and lack of concentration have been reported even at an exposure of 100 milliwatt/sqm. So, limiting the frequency to 450 milliwatt/sqm may not be of much help.”
“States such as Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab had framed a law before allowing the installation of mobile towers. In our state, while mobile phone towers are allowed, there is no regulation to check the radiation. The government needs to come up with a regulatory act,” said Milind Bembalkar, member of Mobile Tower Grievance Forum. “Instead of allowing self-certification by mobile companies, a government agency should conduct checks on the towers.”
Rajan S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India, said, “International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is the global authority on radiation norms. We are following their guidelines. Developed nations such as the US, too, allow much higher radiation level than India.”
In its July 15 edition, Hindustan Times had reported that it is common for people living close to mobile towers to experience the side-effects of radiation, such as headaches, joint pains, disturbed vision, itchiness, anxiety, lack of concentration, sleep disturbances and fatigue, among other symptoms.