Special cells to probe mobile tower radiation complaints

Special cells to probe mobile tower radiation complaints

The city government and civic agencies have received a communication from the telecom ministry to forward complaints related to mobile radiation to specialised units formed to check such issues.

The letter was sent to officials of the licensing and commercial departments of the three municipal corporations, the New Delhi Municipal Council and Delhi Cantonment Board.

A Delhi government official said on Thursday that the departments concerned have been referred the copies of the instruction from the central government.

“The letter is aimed at checking misconceptions about mobile radiation and preventing avoidable action against telecom companies owning the towers,” he said.

Pointing to public suspicion over the towers, a North Delhi Municipal Corporation official said that during the heat wave conditions in the city some residents had complained that the towers were emanating intense heat.

“It is not easy to separate frivolous complaints from the genuine ones,” he said.

The telecom ministry’s letter to the civic agencies said some telecom operators in the Delhi had complained to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that their mobile towers were being sealed by various authorities on complaints of suspected excessive electro magnetic field (EMF) radiation.

“This is to bring to your kind notice that DoT has entrusted the responsibility of checking electro-magnetic radiation from mobile towers to its field unit TERM (Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring) Cell,” it said.

“DDG TERM S K Gupta is heading the Delhi TERM Cell and his jurisdiction includes Delhi-NCR," said the letter issued by the ministry’s Director TERM cell A S Rao.

The TERM Cells also conduct random checks on mobile towers for EMF radiation. The authority to seal towers lies with the DoT. 

“You are requested to forward complaints relating to excessive EMF radiation to this office for examination and further necessary action,” the letter said. 

Apart from Delhi civic agencies, the DoT sent the letter to the municipal bodies in Gurgaon and Faridabad. 

The government in 2012 lowered the EMF exposure limit from base station for mobile tower emissions to one-tenth of then-existing levels and said it would slap a penalty of Rs 5 lakh for non-compliance.