HC directs TRAI to find alternatives to cell phone towers

The Madras High Court Bench here has directed Telecom Regularity Authority of India (TRAI) to examine the feasibility of dispensing with the need to erect cell phone towers by replacing them with underground cables or other alternative technologies adopted by foreign countries.

The First Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice S. Manikumar passed the order on a writ petition filed by Reliance Jio Infocomm and directed the High Court Registry to forward a copy of their order to TRAI since the latter was not a party to the case before the Bench.

“It is given to understand that different technologies are now available in some countries whereby the necessity of erecting towers can be dispensed with either by taking the cables underground or otherwise… We thus request TRAI to look into this aspect and the possibility of implementing the same in India,” the Bench said.

The order was passed in view of widespread apprehensions among people over the ill-effects of radiation caused by cell phone towers and the ever-increasing number of administrative orders passed by State government officials preventing private telecom companies from erecting the towers.

Pointing out that the present writ petition too had been filed challenging an order passed by an Assistant Collector at Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district, the judges disposed of the case in terms of an order passed on March 5 in a batch of similar cases filed in the Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai.

Disposing of that batch, the court had observed that the issue had been examined in detail by the High Courts in Delhi, Bombay and Kerala and all of them had categorically held that there was no conclusive proof or scientific evidence to prove that mobile phone towers caused health hazards.

Nevertheless, observing that there was no final view as yet on the aspect and that “science grows and evolves and one does not know what may happen tomorrow,” the Bench led by the Chief Justice ordered that the authorities concerned should continue to analyse the materials as and when they emerge and look into concerns expressed by people.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 9:32:01 PM |

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