Survey finds ‘enough’ cases of cancer among people residing near towers

District Health and Family Welfare Officer (DHO) of Dakshina Kannada O. Srirangappa said here on Thursday that “enough” number of cases of cancer and mental retardation have been found among people residing within a 500-metre radius of cell phone towers in four taluks of the district in a survey conducted by the officials of the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Dr. Srirangappa was addressing a meeting of the council of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat. He said the survey was conducted in Belthangady, Puttur, Sullia, and Bantwal taluks. Findings of the survey conducted in Mangalore taluk were yet to be compiled. He did not say whether the diseases were caused by the radiation from the towers. The DHO said he would reveal details of the findings of the survey of the entire district after compiling the data collected from Mangalore taluk.

Earlier, Santosh Kumar Rai, a member from Kurnad constituency, told the meeting that there were enough cases of cancer in Phajir and Kurnad villages. He said it was suspected that the radiation from cell-phone towers caused health problems. The member said the population of sparrows and crows was decreasing. This had been attributed to radiation from the cell phone towers. Mr. Rai said that when endosulfan had been sprayed on cashew plantations in parts of Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod districts, people were happy with the bumper yield. They did not think it would affect their health after a few years. Similarly, there was a need to be cautious about the long-term impact of radiation on health.

The Chief Executive Officer of the panchayat, K.N. Vijay Prakash, said the panchayat would install a napkin vending machine at Kudmul Ranga Rao Memorial Hostel for Girls in the city.

Expresses regret

K. Koragappa Naik, president of the panchayat, expressed regret to the members of opposition (Congress) on behalf of the ruling party member Santhosh Kumar Rai, amember of the BJP at the monthly meeting of the council .

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