MUMBAI

Finally, rules to govern mobile tower radiation

State govt. policy stipulates safe distance between towers and residences, and monitoring of radiation levels

The State government has finally recognised the danger posed by radiation from mobile towers, and has come out with a comprehensive guideline to monitor the radiation. Formulated as part of the Special Township Project, the policy will apply to all existing and proposed telecommunication sites and base stations installed in any area in the State.

While planning and construction norms for cell towers may have been in place as part of other policies, senior officials said this could be the first time that the harmful effects of radiation are being taken into account. The new norms include stipulating a safe distance between towers and residential buildings and monitoring the towers’ electro-magnetic fields of the towers.

According to the policy, separate sub-norms called Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) Radiation norms have been framed. These are subject to regulations laid down by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Periodic audit of the towers has been made mandatory to ensure public areas are within safe EMF exposure limits.

Now, before installing mobile towers, the service provider will also have to obtain site clearance from the DoT’s Standing Advisory Committee on Frequency Allocation (SACFA) for the point of interference of wireless users, aviation hazards and obstruction to microwave links, the policy states.

Citizen groups have been protesting the lack of regulations governing mobile towers, claiming them to be hazardous and impacting lives. However, senior officials said, the government has not carried out a scientific study on the harmful impact of mobile tower radiations. The policy has been framed keeping in mind the DoT directives in this regards, senior officials said.

As per the policy, service providers are expected to do a self-certification of radiation and EMF norms, which will be vetted by a special cell. The service provider will be liable for penal action by this cell if the new guidelines are violated. It could also lead to the service provider’s operations being shut down, officials said.



Periodic tower audits are now mandatory to ensure public areas are within safe EMF exposure limits



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