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Indian government advises caution on cellphone radiation

Aug 21, 2012

A report by an expert committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India, has said that Electro-Magnetic Radiations (EMR) from communication towers are interfering with the biological systems of birds and. The ministry has now recommended precaution and released a list of to dos over the impacts of EMR.

Based on the report by the expert panel, the environment ministry has released a list of actions to be implemented by various agencies involved with EMR-based services to avoid and mitigate the impacts of EMR. 

The government had set up the expert committee to study the possible impacts of communication towers on wildlife including birds and bees on August 30, 2010.  The report of the expert committee has been submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forests after which the government issued various instructions to the MoEF, state governments, user agencies and the public.

The government has asked the states and the local bodies to monitor the EMR near urban localities, educational and health institutions. The government has also said that, “problematic towers from EMR point of view should be suitably relocated or removed.” It also wants bold signs and messages on the dangers of cellphone towers to be displayed around the structures and has asked for ecological impact assessment and review of installation sites before the permission of construction of towers is given. The government also says that the forest department should be consulted before installing cellphone towers in and around parks and zoos.

The MoEF also wants the state governments to publicise the hazards of radiation through various media including regional languages. The government has said that no new towers should come up within a radius of one km of existing towers and if new ones have to be constructed these should be done so with adequate precautions so as not to obstruct the flight paths of birds.

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