Mumbai court quashes anti-cell tower plea

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 24, 2012 02:49 hrs

Mumbai: The Kalyan Civil Court, Mumbai Friday turned down a plea to restrain the construction of a mobile tower due to violation of laws and fears of electromagnetic radiation, following absence of any evidence stating that the base centre of the tower is illegal or violates any law or rules.

On the basis of the WHO report and the committee of experts constituted as per the writ petition state, the Court observed that there is no substance in the argument that Electro Magnetic emissions are hazardous to human life.

It is pertinent to note that recently the government of India has adopted most stringent safety guidelines for EMF exposure which is 1/10th of the ICNIRP standards (which is considered to be the safest in the world with over 90% of the countries having adopted the ICNIRP guidelines), the Court said.

"At the same time, the government has also acknowledged that there is no conclusive evidence that can link EMF emissions from Mobile base stations to health hazards and that the lowering of exposure limits is a precautionary measure."

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) welcomed the court's order and stated that it vindicates the industry's long-standing position that mobile towers and base stations in India are fully compliant with the safety, environmental and health norms prescribed by the government of India and puts to rest many concerns raised by sections of the media on the issue recently.

COAI said that the industry has voluntarily undertaken proactive measures to allay the concerns of citizens.

"The telecom industry has undergone a massive transition in its network infrastructure, which was redesigned significantly to meet prescribed norms. Considering the scarce spectrum resources available in India compared to other countries, population density and traffic, it was an extremely difficult task in itself," COAI asserted.

Director General, COAI Rajan S Mathews said, "The industry has always been compliant with norms related to exposure limits and will continue to work actively along with the Department of Telecom to ensure that compliance is maintained in this area."

"We are hopeful that our partnership with the government, with civic bodies and citizens will continue to assuage the concerns that the public have regarding the health effects of EMF emissions from mobile towers and ensure that they are informed of the true scientific facts on the matter and be assured that their safety is being safeguarded with utmost sincerity and priority by the industry."

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