February 16, 2010 5:43:40 am
Gujarat forest and environment department officials will hold a meeting with the public and private mobile operators on February 19 to discuss the issue of proliferation of cellphone towers in the urban landscapes of Gujarat,and their impact on the people.
The department will also discuss the Bombay Nature History Society (BNHS) and the IIT-Bombay report with the cellphone companies at the meeting. The report corroborates evidence that mobile phone towers are illegally installed atop buildings.
BNHS Director Asad Rahmani said the advent of cellphones have resulted in the proliferation of towers and are now as ubiquitous as the house sparrows were.
He said sparrows are the bio-indicators of the changes occurring in the environment. One of his students Mohammed Dilawar is doing a study to demonstrate that microwave radiation from cellphone towers leads to the depletion of the house sparrow population. Recently,a study revealed that the intensity of the microwave radiation in populated cities like Mumbai is 200 times more than the permissible European norms.
According to the Mumbai based group Nature Forever Society the high concentration of microwave pollution is as good as sitting in an X-ray room; with 3G mobile phone technology coming in,which requires three times more cellphone towers,their impact on sparrows health is beyond imagination,NFS said.
J K Vyas,Director and Additional Secretary,Forest Department,Gujarat said: Already,the Gujarat Urban Development Department has come up with Government Resolutions (GR) where the mobile phone operators have to pay Rs 25,000 for operating within the corporation limits. The Department of Environment and Forest might take more stringent action after discussing the reports with them.
Earlier this month,civic authorities started sealing illegal mobile phone towers in the National Capital.
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