Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lokmat - News report - 23/06/10

Radiation City - 2 - Mumbai

Radiation City - 2 - Mumbai

Our first radiation survey revealed how telecom towers were violating health norms and risking the lives of Delhi’s citizens
[Image]The TEHELKA EMR survey of 100 spots across Delhi was the first survey of its size in an Indian metro. The finds were disturbing. Close to four-fifths of Delhi is living in unsafe radiation zones. Only a fifth of Delhi lives and works in a safe zone and that is almost entirely the VVIP zone. This situation has come about because the authorities allowed illegal cell towers to mushroom all over Delhi, by not doing a thing about it.
Forty of the 100 spots surveyed in Delhi have extreme anomaly in radiation levels. These are high risk zones, where the EMR was up to seven times or more than the safe limit. At times, the readings were so high that the instrument used to measure them stopped doing so. Thirty-one spots were unsafe zone and nine were borderline. Only 20 spots were within the safe limits.
High risk areas in Delhi include: Connaught Place, Khan Market, Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi Police headquarters, ISKCON temple and Modern School in Vasant Vihar. The opening and closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games will be held in unsafe areas. The Prime Minister’s residence and the AIIMS are borderline zones. VVIPs like Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit are in safe areas.
The Delhi High Court constituted a high-level panel to ascertain if cell towers are a health hazard, saying a panel had to be formed because of conflicting views on radiation. The court asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the telecom ministry to form the committee of technical and medical experts, NGOs, cellular associations, and public spirited persons. The committee is to submit its report on the harmful effects of radiation within three months.
RISHI BHATIA, 32, is an accountant in Mumbai. He lives on the fifth floor of Panchratna Apartments, Ulhasnagar — a building with seven floors and two wings. In 2004, a Reliance cell tower came up on the terrace of the wing in which he lived, with antennae spread out over the other wing as well. In 2006, Bhatia’s 17- year-old brother Dinesh was diagnosed with leukaemia. He died the same year.
“I’m not very aware when it comes to matters of science,” says Bhatia. “I didn’t know that radiation from the cell tower on top of my building might have caused this, till I read about it in the papers.”
Soon after his brother’s death, Bhatia learned that a woman living on the seventh floor of the same building complex, who had died in 2005, succumbed to cancer as well. “She had breast cancer, but didn’t tell me,” remembers Bhatia. “Her husband mentioned it later, in passing, because she and my brother were treated by the same doctor.”
Then, the same year, another boy living on the seventh floor, also 17, was diagnosed with leukaemia, and died soon after. “I found it strange,” Bhatia says. “I had heard that cell towers emit Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) — which some say causes cancer, but I wasn’t sure.” Bhatia started asking doctors and people of science. He found out that studies were on to determine the same thing.
“But that tower still stands on top of my building,” he says. “The building society refuses to remove it because they get Rs 30,000 a month.” Bhatia has gone on to read in newspapers about residents removing cell towers from where they live. But, after initial discouragement from his co-residents, he refuses to engage the building society over the topic anymore. “I leave home at 9 am and come back at 10 pm. I try to think of my work and family — and forget about this issue.”
But this isn’t easy. Bhatia has now found out that another resident, an old woman on the first floor of his building, has contracted cancer. This is the fourth case of cancer in Panchratna Apartments in five years. “With my brother gone, I live with my mother, my younger sister, my wife, and my daughter,” he says. “I am the only one earning for my family. Ever since the cell tower was put up, we have all experienced inexplicable migraines and problems with sleep. With time these have only gotten worse.”

[Image] Looming danger Cell phone antennae dangle over Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, their threat more ominous than ordinarily perceived
Photo: Deepak Salvi
Can Bhatia be sure that the cell tower on top of his apartment block is responsible for the tragedy his family has suffered, or the ailments they are suffering? Can he be sure that it is responsible for the other cancer cases in the building? “Suppose a stranger wants to walk into my home, can I be sure if he will kill me, or just have a nice chat?” Bhatia says. “No. But if I suspect he is a criminal, I will not let him in — because the risk is too high. I will definitely be angry at him being allowed into my home without my permission.” That’s how Bhatia explains his resentment towards his building society for not letting him have a veto on whether there should be a cell tower atop his building.
Four cases of cancer in five years at Panchratna Apartments make it a cancer cluster — the occurrence of a greaterthan- expected number of cancer cases within a group of people in a geographic area over a period of time. Such clusters abound in Mumbai. Clusters of telecom antennae like the ones on top of Panchratna Apartments — often much thicker — abound too. So, it is not difficult to find a cancer cluster near a cluster of telecom antennae.
Yet, residents from different buildings around Carmichael Road in South Mumbai came together this January to appeal to the building society of Vijay Apartments to remove a cluster of mobile towers from their building terrace. The reason? Four cancer cases in the sixth, seventh and eighth floors of a building called Usha Kiran, which faced the cell cluster atop Vijay Apartments. Three of these cancers were of the same kind — brain tumours. A cancer cluster with the same kind of cancer is normally taken very seriously by medical researchers. The fourth case was that of bone cancer. A fifth cancer patient lived within Vijay Apartments itself.
Nine-tenths of Mumbai lives in unsafe zones. Shah Rukh is safe, as is the Chief Minister. The ordinary Mumbaikar is not WHEN TOLD there was no proof yet of a direct link between EMR from cell towers and cancer, Burjor Cooper, an appellant and Chairman of the Carmichael Road Citizen’s Committee, said: “It will take several years for the completion of conclusive research and for restrictions and safety standards to be implemented — with the result that many lives could be lost because of the harmful effects of cell towers.” True. The Department of Telecom had laid down guidelines in 2008 stating that antennae must not directly face a nearby building. Still, in 2010, residents have to appeal to the errant building society to remove such towers, instead of appealing to an authority or court. What better example of the “several years” it might take for these guidelines to be “implemented”?
The uproar over this issue forced one of the telecom providers whose towers were on Vijay Apartments to fund a test for EMR from these towers in the same month. So, SAMEER, a centre for electromagnetics that works out of Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru, checked the EMR on the three floors of Usha Kiran where the cancer patients lived. They also checked the apartment just below the tower cluster on Vijay Apartments. When the towers were on, the EMR in this apartment was way beyond levels considered safe for human health. When they were off, it was negligible.
No one really knows what exactly to do about EMR in India. But, these are some things that may help
● Could place cell towers at a distance from residential colonies, or place them at greater heights.
● Could control the EMR from a cell tower and use more of small single antennae, which the telecom industry calls ‘repeaters’, to transmit a weaker signal over larger area
● Tighten its EMR emission limits in tune with countries like Italy and Russia, for instance
● License competent independent agencies to conduct radiation audits
● Remove cell towers from schools and hospitals
● Set up a quasi-judicial body to address grievances when citizens want a cell tower removed, or want radiation audited. Something like a consumer court or a tribunal, which will have the authority
● Could contact their corporator or councilor because he/she is the first port of call on cell towers, which are principally in the domain of a civic body
● Petition legislators and members of parliament to sensitise them to the issue, because many are barely aware of EMR
● Could draw up by-laws of their building societies such that there is little chance of a tower coming up on their apartments
● Look at simple steps in the house that might help, like placing plants in balconies and by the windows, because plants tend to absorb EMR to an extent
● You could have a metal wire mesh on a window or a balcony that faces a cell tower because this will reflect the tower’s EMR and keep the radiation out
● But, this is tricky because the mesh has to be grounded by connecting it to the earthing wire of a building to avoid making the mesh radioactive
● In any case, a mesh has to be only on one or two windows because if it is on every window, it could trap the EMR from the cell phones and other appliances within the house, and make the house an ‘EMR cage’. TEHELKA with the help of Cogent EMR Solutions Limited has conducted another survey of EMR levels in 115 spots across Mumbai, which is even more extensive than its 100-spot survey in Delhi. [For the purpose of consistency, we are printing the findings of 100 spots.] The Mumbai results, which were aired on Star News, are even more shocking than Delhi. Well over nine-tenths of Mumbai is living in areas ranging from borderline radiation to extreme anomaly. Only four-fifths of Delhi fell into these categories. Less than a tenth of Mumbai is safe.
Here are some findings of the survey:
● Seventy of the 115 spots have “extreme anomaly” in radiation levels. This means the levels are close to seven times the safe limit. These are high risk areas. The readings were so high at times that the device used to measure the radiation, a High Frequency Analyser, could not record the radiation anymore. Over 60 percent of the spots surveyed fall into this category. A Spectrum Analyser — a device that takes far longer to test these levels and show its results — was brought in to reconfirm the results of the High Frequency Analyser. This was because the experts around Mumbai found it hard to believe that levels were actually this high. The Spectrum Analyser confirmed that they were.
● Thirty spots have “unsafe” radiation levels. This means the levels are two to six times the safe limit
● Six spots are “borderline”, just over the safe limit.
● Only nine of the 115 spots surveyed in Mumbai have safe radiation levels
● Phoenix Mills and Linking Road Bandra, two of Mumbai’s top shopping destinations, have extreme anomaly
● Two of Mumbai’s best hospitals, Jaslok Hospital and Bombay Hospital, have extreme anomaly
● Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is safe at his Malabar Hills residence
● Sea Wind, at Cuffe Parade, where Anil Ambani who heads Reliance Communications lives, is within the safe limit
● Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan live in unsafe spots at Jalsa, Juhu, and Galaxy Apartments, Bandra
● Shah Rukh Khan is safe at Mannat
● The Malabar Hills and Bandra Bandstand promenades, where Mumbai’s richest go for their morning walks, have extreme anomaly
● The Siddhi Vinayak Temple and Nehru Centre, Worli, have both registered extreme anomaly
● The Bombay Scottish School and Nariman Point are unsafe
● Three spots were measured within the constituency of Gurudas Kamat, Minister of State for Communications. One, at a Dongar slum, is safe. One, at Piramal Apartments, a middleclass colony in Juhu Galli, is unsafe. And one, at a slum next to Aradhna Apartments, Juhu Galli, has extreme anomaly
Looking around Mumbai will tell you why the levels are so high. During the last TEHELKA survey of EMR levels in Delhi, the following guidelines were listed:
● No base station antennae within schools and hospitals because children and patients are more susceptible to electromagnetic fields
● No antennae in narrow lanes to reduce the risks caused by earthquake or windrelated disaster
● Antennae should be at least three metres from a nearby building and must not directly face the building
● The lower end of the antenna should be three metres above the ground or a roof
● Sharing common tower infrastructure should be explored in case of multiple transmitter sites
● Access to base station antenna sites must be prohibited for the general public by wire fencing, locking the door to the roof, etc.
● Access to a tower site should be for a minimum period, as far as possible, even for maintenance personnel
● Warning signs must be at antenna sites saying: “Danger! RF radiations, Do not enter!” and “Restricted Area”
Telecom towers at every spot in this survey flout almost all these guidelines.
Of the six hospitals mapped by the survey, one — SL Raheja Hospital — turned up unsafe. The other five, Bombay Hospital, Jaslok Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital, Nair Hospital and Hinduja Hospital have registered extreme anomalies.
Bombay Hospital has a cluster of cell towers on top of it. These towers have antennae, which are barely a metre and a half above the roof. Buildings all around the hospital, but shorter in height, have cell towers that face the hospital. They emit EMR directly into the rooms of the patients. This is further accentuated by telecom antennae hung on the walls of the hospital next to the windows of the wards. A patient can reach out and touch these.
While humans are only now beginning to grasp the truth about EMR, the birds may have already flown
[Image] Life in balance: An egg under observation shows unnatural signs in the embryo after exposure to EMR radiation THE THREAT TO OUR ecology from Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) is not idle speculation. The thermal and non-thermal effects of EMR act directly on the physiology of life forms. Research has found that trees exposed to high frequency waves convert these waves into electric currents, which flow down and change the soil’s electrical conductivity and pH, both important parameters.
A University of Leeds study found an 80 percent decline in bee diversity, from 1980 levels, in over 100 sites across the UK and the Netherlands. That is an 80 percent decline for an organism critical as a pollinating agent. In Florida, 35 percent of bee colonies disappeared in 2007-2008 and the disappearance has subsequently hovered around 30 percent.
Recently, a young Indian scientist, VP Sharma, working for his PhD in our lab, proved a drastic decrease in the brood area and egg-laying rate per day of the queen bee in hives exposed to EMR. The pollen-carrying and returning ability also gets reduced significantly.
In our country, even a city of the size of Chandigarh has more than 335 cell phone towers continuously emitting EMR. Bees are disappearing and although I am not an apiarist, I am inclined to link the disappearance of bee colonies to the EMR cloud rather than a new disease. For, if it were a disease, we would find dead bees near hive sites. What is being reported is disappearance, not death.
But, it’s not just bees. There are others like the hoverfly, whose drastic decline in the UK has naturalists, horticulturists and agriculturists very worried. This has, in turn, led to a decline in insect-pollinated wild flowers. Then, there’s an example we would all identify with. Remember the house sparrow? This bird loved living in cities, in and around buildings, and we grew up around the sparrow in India. But, it has virtually disappeared since the 1990s — in India and in the birds’ native Europe.
Various reasons have been suggested like the use of pesticides in gardens, the changing nature of architecture, and the rise in the number of automobiles. But, the one reason that might explain the sudden and simultaneous disappearance of the man-friendly sparrow the world over is the coinciding mushrooming of cell towers and electro clouds.
Our work at the Panjab University has shown that fertilised eggs exposed to EMR show poor early development of chick embryos, especially of the heart, brain and neural tube, and reduced differentiation in somites. The negative effects of EMR are not limited to the animal world. Even in plants exposed to EMR, we have seen poor seed germination and an adverse effect on enzyme activity that impacts overall metabolism and, consequently, growth and development.
The planet we live on supports life through a large team effort of organisms that form a long and life-sustaining chain of cause and effect that we call ecology. And like a chain, one weak link weakens the whole. Bio-diversity loss like the disappearance of house sparrows, honeybees or the hoverfly is the weakening link in our ecology. The ultimate cost will be ours to pay.
Kohli is a Senior Ecologist and Professor of Botany, Panjab University Jaslok and Breach Candy Hospitals too have cell towers on their terrace and on buildings around them that are shorter in height and facing its windows. Hinduja Hospital also has its own cell tower.
Of seven schools and colleges the survey mapped, only one — St Xavier’s College — was safe. Bombay Scottish School and the Xavier Institute of Engineering were unsafe. Bal Bhavan Vidya Mandir, Jamnagar Middle School and Shiv Seva School were in the extreme category.
Some schools were seen violating guidelines themselves. The Saifi English Medium School at Mohammad Ali Road has more than six cell towers on top of it, as well as clusters on surrounding buildings that face it. The Bandra Urdu High School has another such cell tower cluster. The antennae of towers in these schools too are not three metres above the roof.
Of the 49 residential areas mapped, only two were safe. One was the upscale Woodhouse Road of Colaba. The other a slum in Dongar, Andheri. Fourteen residential areas were unsafe. These included residences in Charni Road, Byculla, Worli, Santacruz, Vile Parle, Andheri, Goregaon, Borivali and Kandivali. A shocking 30 were categorised as highly unsafe. These included residences in Breach Candy, Malabar Hills, Mohammad Ali Road, Worli, Dharavi, Mahim, Bandra, Andheri, Malad, Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Borivali and Kandivali.
[Image] [Image] [Image] Towering inferno (clockwise from left) A passerby views a rooftop cluttered with towers; A tower servicing a high-rise in the distance sticks out of the roof of a Worli slum; Its base fixed to the floor of the room below Two VIP residences safe according to the survey were that of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan at Malabar Hills and Anil Ambani, head of Reliance Communications — a prominent cell services provider — at Sea Wind Apartments, Colaba. However, the Raj Bhavan was unsafe. So were the houses of two of Mumbai’s biggest film stars — Amitabh Bachchan’s bungalow, Jalsa at Juhu, and Salman Khan’s residence at Galaxy Apartments, Bandra. Shah Rukh Khan’s residence at Mannat, however, was safe.
NOT A single cell tower investigated during the survey had warning signs. Many towers on apartment blocks had their terrace doors unlocked and no wire fencing. Mahesh Jadhav, 22, a student and resident at Durga Devi Nagar, Borivali, said that children from his building often play on the terrace. And children are far more at risk than adults to EMR, as the cells in their bodies proliferate at a much faster rate, and they have thinner skulls.
In Jijamata Nagar, a Worli slum, the flouting of these guidelines goes to a new extreme. The guidelines say the lower end of the antenna must be three metres above the roof. A telecom tower installed in this slum three months ago abides by this. Its antennae are three metres above the roof, an asbestos roof. But the tower itself is installed inside an eight by six room, occupying more than half of it. From here it shoots through the roof, to spread EMR through the slum, and below.
Inside this room is a textile stitching workshop, which has been operational for three years. Seven to eight workers work and sleep in this space. Twenty-two year old Ratiram, from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, is one of these workers. He doesn’t have any idea about the health hazards of EMR. Neither does the aged workshop supervisor Rafique Ansari. He has taken the room on rent from the landlord for Rs 2,000 a month, which in Mumbai is a lenient sum. Ratiram says: “The person representing the cell phone company which installed this tower told the landlord and Ansari that it would do a lot of good for them and the slum, because everyone would get a strong signal.” Just three blocks away from where this tower is installed is another cell tower, installed atop the slum’s only temple. Climbing on top of the asbestos roof of this room gives a clear view of both cell towers. It also gives a clear view of the many high-rises surrounding this slum. Surprisingly, there are no towers on these high-rises. They must not be getting a “strong signal”.
Mumbai takes telecom greed to a new high, with cell towers jutting out of shanties and even clamped onto high-rises Near Dharavi’s 90 feet road are two hutments inside the slum with the same problem. Cell towers have been installed, not on rooftops, but inside rooms where people live and work.
One reason cell clusters are so prevalent in Mumbai is that the guidelines don’t say anything about the number of cell towers that can be set up in an area. So, some buildings have as many as 30 cell phone antennae on their rooftop. Such buildings abound on Mohammad Ali Road, in South Mumbai. Almost every rooftop that can be seen along the JJ Flyover built over this road has a cell tower. One building is reported to have as many as 50 antennae on its roof. The permission to set up a cell tower in Mumbai is given by the building societies, or, in some cases, by the owner of the top floor flat and the terrace. So if a resident, or neighbour, being affected by EMR from a tower wants to protest, he has no say in the matter.
Of the 11 spots mapped in places of work, four were unsafe: three in Bandra Kurla Complex, one in Bombay House in South Mumbai. Seven registered extreme anomaly. These were Mohsin Lala Compound at Dharavi, the Bank of Maharashtra at Bandra, the ONGC building at Mahim, the Omkar Building at BKC, the Asian Paints Building, Rangslaka at Borivali and finally, the software capital of Mumbai-Andheri SEEPZ.
The survey also mapped 33 public places frequented by Mumbaikars. Two spots — Shivaji Park at Dadar and the Taj President at Cuffe Parade, were safe. The Gateway of India was borderline. Six spots were unsafe. These included Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Nariman Point, Nehru Planetarium and Mahim Beach. And 24 of the 33 registered extreme levels. Among these were the Jain Temple at Colaba, the Mumbai Central Station, the Siddhivinayak Temple, the Nehru Centre at Worli, the Maqdoom Shah Baba Dargah and St Thomas Church at Mahim, the Radio Club at Colaba, Crawford Market, Bhendi Bazaar, two spots in the red light area of Kamathipura, the entrance to Haji Ali, the Phoenix and Mahalaxmi Mills Compounds, Linking Road at Bandra, the Bandra Bandstand Promenade and the Malabar Hills Promenade.
As for the residents of Vijay Apartments, they finally passed a resolution to remove these cell towers, and everyone on Carmichael Road heaved a sigh of relief. But Carmichael Road, where property prices easily go beyond Rs 90,000 a square foot, is home to some of the country’s richest and most influential families. Elsewhere, residents like Rishi Bhatia, are still wondering whether the cluster of cell towers on top of, or next to their building, has anything to do with the cancer cluster growing inside it. They are wondering if it’s worth the risk to wait several years for the “completion of conclusive research” and for “any restrictions and safety standards to be implemented.”

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sion man dials HC over cell tower radiation

Publication: The Times Of India Mumbai; Date:2010 Jun 15; Section:Times City;


Sion man dials HC over cell tower radiation

Shibu Thomas I TNN

Mumbai: A Sion resident has moved the Bombay high court to challenge the installation of mobile towers on the roof of his seventh-floor flat.

Pradip Shinde (32), a resident of Chaitanya Housing Society Ltd, has expressed fears that there is a serious threat to his and his family
members’ life and health from the radiation emitted by mobile towers. A division bench of Justice F I Rebello and Justice R V More has scheduled Shinde’s application for interim relief on June 28.

Essar Telecom Infrastructure, represented by D H Law Associates, has refuted the allegations of a radiation risk. “The apprehension about radiation and possible health hazard is unfounded in as much as the department of telecommunications, government of India, has categorically reported that at present, there is no conclusive evidence to that effect to warrant any further investigation,’’ the company said in an affidavit.

Shinde approached the HC after the firm started installing the mobile phone tower. According to Shinde, there were two towers on the terrace and one of the signal receivers was attached to the side walls of his bedroom.

The petitioner claimed that the walls of his flat were in a bad condition, with leakages every monsoon. He also raised questions about the safety of such towers. “The consequences or after-effects of radiation from the mobile towers and allied machinery are not known,’’ said Shinde. He added that he had contacted various persons who had suffered on account of such radiation due to installation of mobile towers in their vicinity. In his application for interim relief, he has urged the court to order the company to stop the functioning of the towers.

Mhada, which constructed the building, was represented by assistant government pleader G W Mattos. The firm has denied the claims and pointed to the findings of a two-member panel which in its report in 2006, had said that there was not enough evidence to show direct health hazards of radiation exposure from mobile base stations. 15/06/2010

Letter to Gokhale Madam by Mr. Ramesh Patil - Director-MRCI,

Dear Ms Gokhale,

I read sometimes back that ,Govt of Maharashtra has appointed 3 men committee to study the health hazards due to Mobile Towers.Subsequently,media has exposed the dangers of Cell Providers cos.You may be perhaps aware that SC has already asked Vodafone to pull down the MT at Thane(Ad ButalaVs Thane MC)Kalkatta corp.does not give permission for installation of MT and Navi Mumbai.Delhi Corpo was to seal illegal MT but Delhi HC has granted stay till Sept2010In our society 3 different cos have installed the MT which are causing lot of concerns to sr citizens.

TOI of 6th June,has given wide coverage to this -Towers To TumoursAccording to Prof Gulati's report ,Radiations emitted from tthese cell towers are very high(beyond permissible limits)and people are exposed to health hazards such as brain damage and even cancer.WHO reports may be helpful to ascertain the gravity of EMR-.Ther e are NO guidelines for installation and maintenance of MT.Most of them have not obtained official permission.I have requested K Ward (W) to provide me with the info regarding the cell cos have obtained permission-which is a MUST.He did not respond.May bewe will file an application under RTI.A few socities are only interested in pecuniary gains at the cost of members well being.

If we have Rules for Lift Installation and Maintenance why not for MT.We will reach 600mns cell users in next couple of years-which will add no of MTs.

JNM9Jagruk Nagrik Manch-Juhu) is taking up this as done in case of Riinfra.Will appreciate your support/co-operation before it is late.Case in point is Bhopal Tragedy could have been averted(ref TOI of 12th June)

Warm Regards,





Thursday, June 3, 2010

Radiation City The Tehelka survey

EMR – Health Implications and Awareness

Work shop

In order to have full scale debate to discuss on the issue of “Mobile Tower”, and to hear the complaints

of those who have suffered of health hazards due to radiation, a workshop is organized:

EMR – Health Implications and Awareness

Saturday, 5 June 2010


ALM Garden

Mahakali, Opp. Punjab & Maharashtra Co- Op Bank.

SVP Road, Andheri (E)

Mumbai – 400 093

Bus routes are towards MAJAS from Mahakali and vice versa (Bus


For any clarification please contact Mr. Ramesh Pai – 93241 45970

Between 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

A platform will be available for those affected by radiation from mobile tower, scholars from the field of

environment, news reports, MLA’s & MP’s to discuss the issue and come out with suggestions that could

be valuable for making rules and regulations regarding erection of mobile towers.

Please contact Mr. Harish Shetty, 022 2687 5938/

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tehelka Survey

Mumbai Mirror News Item

By Mumbai Mirror Bureau
Posted On Saturday, May 22, 2010
In July 2008, Mumbai Mirror, in collaboration with a Delhi-based firm, had measured electro-magnetic radiations in and around cellphone towers across the city
They charge Rs 60,000 for an eight-hour study of electro-magnetic radiation from telecommunication installation. “Since we have the gadgets for measuring such radiation, we did it for a few residents. But now too many people are approaching us, so our management has taken a stand that we should stop conducting these tests as it is not our core function. We have to pull out our staff from their regular work for such tests,” said an official.

Recently, the society did a study for the M L Dahanukar Marg (Carmichael Road) residents who wanted to measure levels of radiation from telecommunication installations in the area. Earlier the agency – which is part of the telecommunications ministry – had carried out tests for two residential buildings in Cuffe Parade and had also received requests from Andheri residents.

SAMEER’s tests at a building in M L Dahanukar Road showed that radiation levels dropped from 0.464 when the installations were on to negligible when they were shut off. Though there have been no conclusive study that links radiation from telecommunication towers to human ailments, people have become more aware of the issue. “People who travel to Europe or America realised that such telecommunications towers are not there in populated areas,” said a senior SAMEER official.

“The companies that set up such towers have instruments to measure the radiation levels and therefore the towers would normally meet guidelines. There may or may not be reasons to worry. But there are no legislation to regulate the setting up of such installations,” he added.

Manoj Londhe of Mobile Towers Grievance Forum – a group recently formed to agitate for more government regulations on such installations - said that the government should lay down law and regulations for such installations. “Safety principles are followed all over the world. Nowhere do you find telecommunications towers on top of residential buildings. In most other countries, the towers are built on tall office buildings so that the installations are at a certain distance from residences,” said Londhe.

“The towers are set up without necessary clearances from the local municipality and are later regularised. Currently, the companies themselves certify their installations as safe. There has to be a third party certification to ensure that the towers are safe,” Londhe added. The government has recently appointed a committee to formulate regulations like minimum distance between the towers and residential buildings. 
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