Tuesday, June 1, 2010

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. 
Copyright 2008 Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. . All rights reserved.

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