1. SC scrutinises impact of mobile towers; seeks Centre’s report

SC scrutinises impact of mobile towers; seeks Centre’s report

The Supreme Court today initiated a scrutiny of "deleterious" effects of radiation emanating from mobile towers and sought a report from the Centre on several aspects including steps taken to enforce standards for such emissions.

By: | New Delhi | Published: October 3, 2016 7:22 PM
Idea Cellular Vodafone deal, Idea Cellular Vodafone merger, Idea Cellular Vodafone merger deal “Are the standards of radiation from cell towers in the country at par with international standards,” it asked, adding how many mobile towers have been installed by the service providers in the country so far and whether they have been checked by the DoT. (Reuters)

The Supreme Court today initiated a scrutiny of “deleterious” effects of radiation emanating from mobile towers and sought a report from the Centre on several aspects including steps taken to enforce standards for such emissions.

“What are adverse impacts of such mobile towers? Is there any agency to monitor? Have you (Department of Telecom) got a system in place to enforce the standards, if any, for radiation from such towers,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices C Nagappan and A M Khanwilkar asked.

The bench directed Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia, appearing for the DoT, to file a report apprising the court about issues including the effects of radiation and steps taken to contain them.

During the hearing, the bench asked DoT how it has been enforcing standards for emission of radiation from these towers.

“Are the standards of radiation from cell towers in the country at par with international standards,” it asked, adding how many mobile towers have been installed by the service providers in the country so far and whether they have been checked by the DoT.

On being pointed out by lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for a Noida resident, that such towers have been installed in residential areas and near schools, the bench wanted to know from the government whether there were any regulations on the issue and if yes, what are those.

“How many violations of regulations have been reported,” the bench asked and sought information from DoT about the action taken so far against the violators.

The apex court also asked the government to set a time- frame to make all phone service providers “fully compliant” to radiation standards and norms.

“I need some time to respond,” Patwalia said. The bench then posted the batch of petitions, including the one filed by Noida resident Naresh Chand Gupta, for further hearing on October 17.

Earlier, the court had sought response from the Centre and others on a plea seeking protection of citizens from “deleterious” effects of radiation emanating from mobile towers.

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