Wednesday, February 2, 2011

HC rules in favour of cellular companies who opposed the fee

State to enable civic bodies collect fees for cell towers

The amendment will fix charges for cellphone towers and their minimum height. Provision is being made to install discs of various service providers on a single tower so that multiple towers could be avoided, said officials in the urban development department.

A tower normally weighs 6 to 7 tonnes. The amendment will make it mandatory on the tower builders to check the load bearing capacity of the building on which the tower is being raised.

Officials said that towers could longer be put up on residential buildings if there was an alternative. The amended Act will enjoin upon the local bodies to encourage the service providers to set up towers in open plots and follow WHO guidelines strictly.

The urban development department has sent the proposals to the legal department.

They are likely to be finalised in the next few days. The bill to amend the acts will be introduced in the upcoming budget session of the assembly.

Incidentally, the bill is silent on the radiation that the towers emit and the danger of which has been pointed out time and again.

All the bill has on the safety front is the reference to the WHO guidelines.


AS PART of a survey conducted by Ahmedabad Mirror in 2008 had asked Cogent EMR Solutions to measure EMR emitted by cell towers at nine spots in the city. The results had shown alarming levels, which could lead to brain damage, heart problems and a host of other health issues.

The company specialising in detecting excess or unwanted radiation, recorded radiation levels as high as 9,000 microwatt/square metre at the Town Hall, between 6,000 and 7,000 microwatt/square metre near the Studio Complex, and around 2,300 microwatt/square metre at the IIM-A entrance. Shockingly, accepted levels of radiation worldwide are below one!

Countries like the US, the UK and Canada have regulations stating that telecom towers should be 150 feet above the ‘level of human habitation’, not just above ground. I n fact, Canada does not permit telecom towers within residential areas.

Health issues due to high radiation levels begin with constant headaches and sleep disorders, which can lead to heart and brain ailments.

These problems are very likely to escalate into leukemia, brain tumour and other cancers. Special risk lies to pregnant women and children. Children, due to thinner skulls and increased mitotic activity in their cells, can even develop deformity.

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