Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte has asked South Mumbai activists,including actress Juhi Chawla,to back their claim on reported effects of electro-magnetic radiation from cellphone towers with a scientific study. He suggested they take help of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Forum Against Cellphone Towers,which includes activists from the island city and Bandra,has been running a campaign against indiscriminate installation of cellphone towers on residential buildings since last year.
Thursday,the citizens group,which Chawla is a part of,met Kunte to discuss the new BMC cellphone tower policy that will be ready by July 15.
The group has made some serious claims such as cellphone towers cause cancer. If these claims are to be taken into account while framing the new cellphone tower policy for the city,circumstantial evidence is not enough. I have asked them to involve IMCR in study, he said.
The municipal commissioner explained: If a person chews gutkha and stands in front of a cellphone tower how is it possible to know what caused him cancer.
New department of telecommunications guidelines for cellphone towers say service providers can set up towers anywhere after acquiring necessary permissions. As such,BMC cannot ban setting up of legal cellphone towers at particular locations but can decide their height and distance between two towers and also take action against illegal ones. The new cellphone tower policy is scheduled to come out by July 15 after approval from the civic standing committee and the general body. In framing the policy,the committee will take into consideration all suggestions and objections made by citizens, said Kunte.