Don’t panic, towers are safe: COAI on SC order

NEW DELHI: The telecom industry body Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has appealed to the citizens and the public, to not panic about the Supreme Court (SC) order to shut down a mobile phone tower.

The SC had asked a mobile tower to be shut down within seven days after Gwalior-based petitioner Harish Chand Tiwari claimed the radiation from the tower had given him cancer.

“Last year, Harish Chand Tiwari, who works at the residence of Prakash Sharma in the Dal Bazar area of Gwalior, moved the SC through advocate Nivedita Sharma, complaining that a BSNL tower illegally installed on a neighbour’s rooftop in 2002 had exposed him to harmful radiation 24×7 for the last 14 years, according to a TOI report.

“For the Telecom industry consumer health and interest are paramount. The industry appeals to the citizens and the public, to not panic and read the interim order in its entirety,” said Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI in a statement.

“There are four Electromotive force (EMF) related cases which have been clubbed together. The interim SC order relates to only one of them whereas cell towers included in the other cases were left untouched. The particular media story deals with an interim order on one of the four cases. We would like to bring to your notice that there are eight high courts which have found that the radiation emanating from mobile towers are not hazardous for human health,” he said.

“Government of India, in its affidavit has also amply provided evidence of the same stating clearly that it has one of the strictest norms across the world on EMF emission for mobile towers, it regularly checks and monitors mobile towers for emission and has strict and high penalties in case of any exceptions, violation. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) submission also refers to over 20000 papers which conclusively proves to no scientific evidence which links mobile towers to any adverse impact on human health,” he added.

“As a precaution, DoT has already maintained emission limits at 1/10th of the recommended ICNIRP global standards for India making them one the strictest norms existing anywhere across the globe. Further the Honourable Allahabad High Court has also instituted an expert committee which found that currently there is no conclusive scientific evidence which establishes that EMF has harmful effect on human health,” said Mathews.

“Therefore, citizens have no reason to panic as mobile towers emit low level radiation, which is within the prescribed DoT, GOI norms which makes mobile towers completely safe. Further, the Honourable Supreme Court has also called on COAI to submit various reports and other relevant and connected documents. We believe that final order will take a comprehensive view of the matter after taking into consideration all the supplied material evidence,” he added.

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