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Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Communications
11-March-2011 18:31 IST
Revision of Radition Norms for Mobile Phone Towers
Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) issues siting clearance for installation of mobile towers for each and every site from the point of view of interference with other wireless users, aviation hazards and obstruction to any other existing microwave links. As per siting clearance issued by DoT, there are no illegal mobile towers in the capital.

The siting clearance is issued without prejudice to applicable bylaws, rules and regulation of local bodies such as Municipal Corporation/ Gram Panchayat etc. Accordingly, before installation of towers, Service Providers are required to obtain necessary clearances from concerned Municipal Authorities / local bodies wherever required. Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has formulated its own policy for grant of permission for installation of mobile towers stipulating structural safety norms and levy/fee etc. MCD has reported that out of 5459 mobile phone towers installed under the jurisdiction of MCD, 2717 towers have been erected without permission. New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has reported that there are no illegal towers in NDMC area.

(b) The studies carried out by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) could not establish conclusive evidence on the safety or risk of radio frequency radiation emitted from mobile phones and mobile phone towers. Further, ICMR has not called for imposing strict restriction on installation of such mobile towers particularly near high density residential areas, schools, playgrounds and hospitals.

(c) With regard to radiation from mobile towers and mobile phones, DoT has already adopted the Electro Magnetic Radiation norms prescribed by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Further, DoT, vide letter No. 800-15/2010-VAS dated 8th April 2010 has directed all Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (CMTS)/ Unified Access Service (UAS) licensees for compliance of the reference limits/ levels prescribed by ICNIRP by way of self certification of their Base Transmitting Station (BTS) for meeting the Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) radiations norms.

Accordingly, Self certification is to be submitted to respective Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) Cells of DOT. All new BTS sites shall start radiating only after self certificate has been submitted to relevant TERM Cells.

The TERM Cell will test up to 10% of new BTS sites randomly at its discretion. Additionally, the BTS sites against which there are public complaints shall also be tested by TERM Cell. The testing shall be done as per procedures prescribed by Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) from time to time.

If a site fails to meet the EMR criterion, a penalty of Rs. 5 lakh shall be levied per BTS per service provider. Service providers must meet the criterion within one month of the report of TERM cell in such cases, after which the site will be shut down.

Accordingly, the TERM Cells have carried out the testing of radiation levels for 1770 BTSs and found that the radiations levels are in compliance of ICNIRP prescribed levels in all the tested BTSs.

Further, to examine the effect of EMF Radiation from base stations and mobile phones, DoT has constituted an Inter-ministerial committee consisting of officers from DoT, Indian Council of Medical Research, Ministry of Health, Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Environment and Forest.

Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) in its report has indicated that most of the laboratory studies were unable to find a direct link between exposure to radio frequency radiation and health; and the scientific studies as yet have not been able to confirm a cause-and-effect relationship between radio frequency radiation and health. The effect of emission from cell phone towers is not known yet with certainty. Further, the committee has also suggested certain safeguards. The IMC report has been placed on the DoT website for feedback from stakeholders.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology, Shri Sachin Pilot in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

SP/AS