Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mobile Towers In India Are Health Hazard

One of the best directions by a High Court of India was stayed by Supreme Court in the month of January, 2010. The decision was given by the Punjab and Haryana High Court banning installation of mobile phone towers in residential areas in Punjab. The ban was imposed because these towers were emitting hazardous rays to people residing in residential areas.

On appeal, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan also asked a sarcastic question, “if towers are not to be installed in residential areas will they be installed in forest?”. I was appalled by this statement as the Bench was clueless what it was talking about.

However, the protests did not die even after that stay and public pressure finally resulting in submission of a contrary Inter Ministerial Report (IMR) to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The report has recommended what Supreme Court failed to appreciate. It has recommended the cutting down of mobile phone tower radiation by one-tenth of the present level.

India has the worst cell phone tower radiation norms in the world. The upper limit is so high that within 2 years the health of 1 crore Indians could be affected. But if the recommendations of the IMR are accepted by DoT, then India may witness stricter norms regarding radiations emissions from towers and their installation in residential areas.

In the past DoT has been taking anti Indian and anti common man decisions and there are very little chances that these recommendations would be rejected to further disgrace its image. Even the hard core industrial lobbying from mobile industry is not going to work in these circumstances. Let us hope the Supreme Court of India would not take a casual approach and misguided agenda this time.