Increasing number of mobile towers in the residential areas of Mansa town has raised health concern among people, who have held protests against the installation of new towers.
A number of mobile towers in Mansa had been installed without necessary approval or no objection certificate (NOC) from the administration. There are 42 towers in the town and all have been installed in residential areas. These include ground-based towers (GBT) as well as roof-based towers (RBT).
Around 15 towers are of high frequency while others are said to have medium and low frequencies. Six towers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) installed in the town had no permission or NOC from the authorities concerned.
A protest was held in Mansa's Professor Colony 15 days ago wherein people opposed the installation of mobile towers in the area. The contractors, however, claimed to have the permission from the competent authorities. Later, people inquired into the matter and found the company had no permission to install mobile towers.
It's pertinent to note that the NOC is given to mobile companies for installation of tower only after it adheres to norms and has permission from different authorities, including deputy commissioner, Punjab Pollution Control Board, forest department, municipal council and other departments. However, many towers in the town have been installed without permission.
I will check if any mobile phone tower is running illegally in Mansa town and will take appropriate action. People have no reason to worry as these mobile towers have controlled radiations, Amit Dhaka, Mansa deputy commissioner.
Soon all towers will be regularised. I have joined recently but will take up matter regarding NOC with BSNL. We had a letter from the Centre that says mobile towers are not harmful as they have lowest frequencies in India
Parmanand, divisional engineer, BSNL
Private companies are resorting to propaganda against BSNL as they want us to share their towers for which they will be paid. Mobile towers have lowest frequency and they are not harmful Nacchattar Singh Kheeva, vice-president, state BSNL employee union.
Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana high court and some other high courts had banned installation of towers in residential areas, but apex court had stayed the HC orders. It's not impossible to shift these towers from residential areas Mandeep Singh, president, IHRO, Mansa.
If mobiles in our pockets are considered as a serious threat to health due to radiations, how can a mobile tower that helps run hundreds of thousands phones is not harmful? These towers should be kept out of city and residential areas, Bhola Singh, shopkeeper.
A mobile tower beside my house on Ram Bagh road has affected fertility of my buffaloes as many calves had died at an early stage. The municipal council does not allow anyone to carry out construction on the second floor, but in connivance with multi-national companies they are allowing installation of towers on houses and shops, Balkaran Singh, dairy farmer.
Even as towers are being installed illegally, politicians and administration have turned a blind eye to ill-effects. People have raised voice against installation of towers. There have been cases of pregnant women being affected due to radiations, Gurdas Singh, advocate.