Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rajasthan seeks Central policy

Rajasthan seeks Central policy


Jaipur: In the wake of growing public concern over mobile tower radiation, the Rajasthan government has requested the Centre to formulate a policy on cell phone towers. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot has asked the central government for a team of experts to study the effects of these radiations. 
    To allay residents’ fear, the government has also decided to test mobile towers in various localities and make the results public. Results released in May showed that the radiations were within the permissible limit, and therefore, not harmful. The tests, conducted with the help of the telecommunications department (DoT), couldn’t establish any relation between cellphone tower radiations and people’s health. After testing 509 towers in Jaipur and 1,086 towers in the state, the government declared that in 90% cases radiations were “much lower” than the permissible limit. 
    However, the Kasliwal brothers of C-scheme in Jaipur, both diagnosed with cancer, blame the three mobile towers in the neighbourhood for their illness.
Diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011, Pramod Kasliwal (53) underwent a surgery in New York but had a relapse within six months. Sanjay Kasliwal (56), his elder brother, who was also treated for the same condition, is keeping his fingers crossed. The brothers say their dog Lalu also died due to brain tumour. 
    The towers caught the attention of the brothers — who have no family history of cancer — after an oncologist’s query about radiation exposure. “We learnt about the repercussions of proximity to cell tower radiation too late but we are trying to get the authorities to act,” said Sanjay. 
    At a seminar on such health risks last month, principal secretary for urban development and housing, GS Sandhu, underlined there could be many reasons for cancer even if people were residing close to mobile towers. Putting the onus on the Centre, Sindhu said, “It should formulate a policy on mobile towers and send it to us.” The joint statement of DoT, Delhi, and the general telecom enforcement resource monitoring cell, Rajasthan, made it clear that these radiations were not harmful for humans. 
    Cellular operators have come together to fight a campaign which they term is “uncalled for”. “We follow all licence conditions. Radiation levels are fully compliant to these guidelines. We conduct regular checks which are audited by DoT,” said Sudipto Chaudhary, CEO, Airtel, Rajasthan circle.

WORRIED: Sanjay Kasliwal at home

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