The Supreme Court Monday sought a detailed report from the central government regarding effects of radiation emanating from mobile towers and the standards laid down to regulate their installation in residential areas.
“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,” asked a bench led by Chief Justice T S Thakur.
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The bench directed Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia, appearing for the DoT, to file the 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 had 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?” asked the bench. It wanted to know how many mobile towers had been installed by service providers in the country so far and whether the DoT had checked them. When lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for a Noida resident, said such towers had 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 those were. “How many violations of regulations have been reported?” it asked, and sought information from DoT about the action taken so far against the violators.
The court asked the government to set a time frame to make all phone service providers “fully compliant” with radiation standards. The next hearing is on October 17.