The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday asked the UT Administration to submit its policy on installation of mobile towers in residential areas failing which the UT Home Secretary will have to attend the next hearing.
The directions were passed based on four petitions,including a petition filed in public interest on the issue nearly a decade ago by one Jagbir Singh.
On the issue of installation of mobile towers in residential areas,the high court in February 2012 had made it clear that it wanted mobile towers to be shifted out of residential areas in phases. The court had also directed the UT Administration to formulate a policy for their shifting in a phased manner.
Expressing concern over the effects of radiation,the high court ruled that it was the duty of the government and mobile companies to inform residents about the harmful effects.
The high court had also ruled the government would be duty bound to inform the public living where a mobile tower was to be erected about the amount of radiation it will emit and its harmful effects thereof on the health of people.
The information would have to be supplied in a public notice before the mobile tower was erected. The high court had also directed the companies installing mobile towers to do the same.
Making it clear that there is no absolute right to carry on any business,the Bench ruled that it is subject to reasonable restriction and regulation,and highlighted the damage being caused due to the radiation.
It is the duty of the local authorities to issue a public notice with information on the amount of radiation the mobile towers will emit and its effect on peoples health living in the area, the court had held.
But,while the UT Administration was planning to start a drive to remove 180 mobile towers in the residential areas,the Supreme Court ordered a maintenance of status quo. The decision was taken on a petition challenging the high court order directing the removal of mobile towers from the residential areas.