The government on Wednesday relaxed radiation norms for installation of new mobile towers and upgradation for existing cell sites in the wake of crisis triggered by coronavirus pandemic. The Department of Telecom has allowed service providers to self certify compliance in 30 days after commissioning of new mobile towers or upgrading existing units.
“In case of new BTS, the due date of submission of self-certificate shall be 30 days after the date of commissioning of BTS. In case of upgradation, the due date of submission of self-certificate shall be 30 days,” DoT said in a letter to telecom operators.
Telecom operators are required to submit a self-certificate before commissioning of new mobile towers for which their representatives have to make field-visits and conduct outdoor surveys for radiation measurements, panoramic photographs etc.
Industry body COAI has written to the DoT for relaxation of norms as it is not practical for their employees to visit mobile tower sites for radiation survey and broadband measurements due to the ongoing lockdown.
“We assure you that, our member TSPs will conduct fresh EMF (radiation) survey, broadband measurements and regularise the sites by submitting self-certificates through Tarang Sanchar Portal for all such sites/ BTS installed and deployed during this period of Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown/curfew at various places,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said in the letter dated March 26 to the DoT.
Heeding to the request made by the industry, the Dot has said no penalty will be imposed on telecom operators if they make submission as per the approved rule and added the relaxation is “temporary in nature and will be in force till further instructions are issued”.