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108 mobile towers found exceeding radiation limits in three years, no evidence of health consequence: Govt

India TV Politics Desk New Delhi August 10, 2016 16:37 IST
India TV Politics Desk

A total of 108 cell phone towers were found exceeding prescribed radiation limits in the last three years while there have been no violation of the limit this year, and penalties have been imposed on the concerned telecom providers, Lok Sabha was informed today. 

A total of 72 cellphone towers were found exceeding prescribed radiation level in 2013, while the figure came down to 24 the next year and 12 towers were found violating the limit in 2015. No tower was found violating the norms till May this year, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said during Question Hour. 

Telecom enforcement resources and monitoring field units have imposed financial penalty amounting to Rs 6.60 crore on defaulting telecom service providers for non-compliant base transceiver stations, he said. 

Quoting World Health Organisation, he said current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequence from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields. 

Sinha also said different high courts have heard the matter and dismissed petitions in which mobile tower installations at various locations, including residential, were challenged on grounds of health effects of electromagnetic radiations.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) experts have also claimed that radiation from electro-magnetic fields (EMF) of mobile towers does not appear to have "adverse health effects" either on adults or on children in the country.

India has adopted one of the most stringent Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) exposure norms in the world. The emission levels in the country are kept at 1/10th of the global standards recommended by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and recognised by the World Health Organisation.

Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) Cells of DOT have been entrusted with the job of conducting audit on the self certification furnished by the Service Providers. TERM Cell are expected to carry out test audit up to 10% of the BTS site on random basis and on all cases where there is a public complaint. 

For non-compliance of EMF standards, a penalty of Rs 5 lakh is liable to be levied per BTS per Service Provider.

Telco Engineering Centre (TEC) has revised the Test Procedure for measurement of EMF for verification of EMF compliance for BTS towers in accordance with new standards effective from September 1, 2012.