Cell towers violate health and safety norms
Moneylife Digital Team 29 January 2011

Government’s unresponsive attitude towards Bombay Telephone Users’ Association’s public meeting invite that discusses health hazards due to radiation

In January 2010, Usha Kiran apartments, on Carmichael Road in the plush South Mumbai area was in the news, after four of its residents  died due to cancer caused by electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted from the cluster of cell towers located on the terrace of the opposite building, named Vijay Apartments. It was only after a protracted fight by the residents of several buildings in the vicinity that these towers were removed. Since then, there have been several instances where mobile phone companies have yielded to the demands of citizens and removed cell towers rather than face the consequences of negative publicity due to protracted legal fights.

But is the government sensitive to these concerns of the aam aadmi that it woos? Not if you were to go by its cold response to a public meeting to discuss the "Radiation Health Hazards from Cell Towers: Myth or Reality". The meeting has been organised by Bombay Telephone Users' Association (BTUA) on Saturday 29 January 2011 "to raise awareness among the citizens and to help government in taking required steps in resolving this issue." The Association has been requesting the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to send a representative to attend the meeting with no success.

Experts from various fields will speak on the subject. The panel will consist of Dr RS Sharma from Indian Council for Medical Research, Anil Prakash representing Telecom User Group of India, New Delhi and Professor Girish Kumar, head of wireless from IIT Bombay, who is been researching the effects of EMR for the past couple of years.
 
"The aim of the programme is to bring together the citizens and experts who are concerned about the issue and share their knowledge on the subject. This will at least make the government aware, and required steps would be taken to curb the problems arising out of these towers." said Mr Achintya Mukherjee, secretary of BTUA.

"We have invited officials from DoT, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), but so far no confirmation has been received from them. Among the mobile network operators, IDEA cellular has confirmed that they will send their representatives" added Mr Mukherjee. Nor is there any participation from the BMC and the Maharashtra Government. It may be recalled that Prithviraj Chavan had stated in a written reply tabled in the Vidhan Sabha on 7 December 2010 that "the government is collecting feedback from concerned departments for framing comprehensive rules and regulations for installation of mobile towers by cellphone service providers in the state."

Government of Maharashtra, appointed a committee in March last year headed by additional chief health secretary to study the effect of mobile phone towers on public health. The committee had representatives from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Tata Memorial hospital, recommended to ban such towers near schools, hospitals and it should be only restricted on rooftops of the building.

In 2008, DoT has laid guidelines stating that the antennae must not directly face a nearby building. Despite this many such towers are visible across the city, as it remains main source of revenue for the housing societies. Often these towers are illegal and violate health and safety norms.
Lack of participation from the government indicates clearly that "collecting feedback" is a mere formality. As in many other cases of consumer safety, the government will respond only to public interest litigation and only when it is directed by the judiciary.

Comments
Eileen OConnor
1 decade ago
I was living 100m from a mobile phone mast in the UK for over 7 years and finally developed breast cancer at the age of 38, I discovered I was living in a cancer cluster and have since campaigned for the last decade lobbying the UK and European Parliament in order to encourage the authorities to adopt the precautionary approach for wireless technology. I have provided verbal and written evidence at many Inquires in the UK and Europe including the House of Commons, UK Health Protection Agency, WHO, the European Parliament in Brussels and the Liverpool and Birmingham City Council Inquiries into cell towers.

Please download the following information.

Please see video footage from the important event held at the San Francisco,
Commonwealth Club EMF Program, Nov 18, 2010, "The Health Effects of
Electromagnetic Fields", information is now posted on
ElectromagneticHealth.org. You can view it here:
http://electromagnetichealth.org/electro...


Also download some of my older PowerPoint presentations:

PowerPoint presentation for the European Commission, Feb 2009.

http://www.radiationresearch.org/pdfs/20...
.pdf

Base Stations and Health concerns paper for the UK Health Protection Agency
http://www.radiationresearch.org/pdfs/20...
.pdf

And PowerPoint presentation

http://www.radiationresearch.org/pdfs/20...

Personal story containing details about the phone mast and cancer cluster in
Wishaw. PowerPoint presentation for the Royal Society, London:
http://www.radiationresearch.org/pdfs/ei...

Kind regards,

Eileen O'Connor

Director

UK Radiation Research Trust

http://www.radiationresearch.org
Narendra Doshi
1 decade ago
I sincerely hope Moneylife team assist on a consistent basis till the satisfactory end results are achieved. Could you summarize what has sofar been achieved and what specific future steps can be taken with an end everlasting result for the present & future citizens of Mumbai to begin with?
Please also indicate what forums can be used to achieve the goals.
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