Responding to growing concerns among Mumbaiites about mobile tower radiation, the civic body has made it mandatory for operators to maintain a distance of at least 36 metres from any surrounding residential building while installing new telecom infrastructure. They will face a fine or their licences will be cancelled for not abiding by the new city-specific norms.
“We reviewed the guidelines proposed by the Union department of telecommunication on installation of mobile towers, while also keeping in mind the health of citizens,” said civic chief Sitaram Kunte, who conducted a review meeting to discuss the issue on Wednesday. He has sought a clarification from DoT on the required distance in case of mobile tower clusters.
It is common for people living close to mobile towers to experience headaches, joint pains, hampered vision, itchiness, anxiety, lack of concentration, sleep disturbances and fatigue; and cancer in extreme cases.
On October 4, the DoT set up the country’s first complaint handling system in the city to measure radiation emitted from mobile towers. While the system is restricted to only measuring radiation, the civic body will address the remaining telecom infrastructure complaints, including the height of towers.