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Department of Telecommunications organized awareness program

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) organized awareness program on Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Emissions and Mobile Towers

An awareness programme was organised by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Min. of Communications on Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Emissions and Mobile Towers in Gurugram. This is a part of a nationwide public outreach campaign to dispel myths about EMF Emissions and mitigate unfounded fears of citizens through scientific evidence.

Shri N K Chhoker, DDG (Compliance); Shri V K Roy, Director (Compliance) from Delhi LSA DoT; Shri Narhari Bangar, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), Shri Sudhir Chauhan, Senior Town Planner, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram; and Dr. TK Joshi, Advisor to Health Ministry, Govt. of India, graced the occasion as the speakers on the dais. An expert panel comprising of telecom officers and doctors presented the scientific facts clarifying various myths on perceived health hazards from mobile tower radiation. They were found to be unfounded. Shri Arjun Singh, DDG (T) and Shri R K Rastogi, DDG (R) from Delhi LSA also graced the occasion.

Delivering the welcome address, Shri K D Tripathi, Assistant Director General, Delhi LSA, DoT, said that TARANSANCHAR, a portal for information sharing on EMF and compliances has been launched by DoT for public. He gave a real time view of features of TARNSANCHAR portal and its utilities for knowing the compliance status of towers in any locality and way to raise request for measurement of EMF emission at any place.

Delivering the Technical address, Shri V K Roy, Director (Compliance), Delhi LSA, DoT elaborated the technical requirement of tower after certain distance to have proper coverage in a city, non-harmful nature of low level EMF emission from towers in radio-communication range and said that there is no scientific evidence backing the claim that EMF radiation from mobile towers, which are below the safe limits prescribed by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), can cause adverse health effects. He stressed upon the need of installation of required number of towers in various localities for best wireless connectivity and QoS.

Shri Narhari Bangar, Additional Commissioner, MCG presided over the function as the Chief Guest and congratulated Department of Telecom for organising this EMF awareness program and connecting with the public. He stated that such awareness programs would act as a confidence building measure between the authorities and the public and help in removing the myths in the minds of public. He also said that benefits of wireless communication technology should reach to the last man of the society and the society should understand the facts and actively counter such baseless myths in this regard. Some of misconceptions and unfounded fears hinder the progress and growth of the society, which are largely based on unsubstantiated reports. He emphasized the need to bridge the gap between the DoT, Local bodies, Public and other stakeholders of the society for a speedier resolution of the issues relating to mobile towers emissions. He announced the formation of District Committee for speedier disposal of grievances relating to mobile towers in Gurugram in line with the DoT guidelines issued in this regard.

Shri Sudhir Chauhan, Senior Town Planner, MCG emphasis on the completion of the paper formality of the tower erection to ensure speedy disposal of cases if completing all the norms.

Shri N.K. Chhoker, DDG (Compliance), Delhi LSA, DoT, elaborated the role of Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cell and mechanism to ensure EMF Compliance in Delhi NCR Area. This program is on continuation of the awareness drive initiated by Department of Telecommunication in the year 2016. He also informed about various processes followed by TERM Cell for ensuring compliance in this regard. “Strict monitoring and enforcement mechanism has been put in place by the DoT for EMF-related compliances. In case any BTS site is found to violate prescribed EMF norms, actions are taken to put a penalty of INR 10 lakh per BTS per incidence, including closing of BTS site in case violation persists.”

The DoT has already prescribed strict precautionary norms for exposure limit for the Radio Frequency Field (Base Station Emissions) which is ten times more stringent than the existing limits prescribed by ICNIRP and recommended by WHO. “Our EMF norms are much stricter than what is followed by many developed nations. Further, the Government of India has taken adequate steps to ensure that Telecommunications Service Providers strictly adhere to these prescribed norms”, Shri Chhoker added.

Shri Chhoker concluded that towers in the Delhi NCR Area are safe and TERM Cell is fully committed and geared to ensure compliance of guidelines designed for safeguarding our citizens. He also conveyed his sincere thanks to Mr. V. Umashankar for building a platform to spread awareness on EMF Emissions. Finally he stated that the present TERM Cells now have been upgraded and are being headed by Advisor / Sr. DDG Level officers to ensure strict compliances of licence condition.

Dr. T.K. Joshi, Advisor to Ministry of Health, Government of India referred to the EMF Project established by WHO, in which over 50 national authorities and 8 international organizations are involved. He said that together, since 1996, they have been reviewing scientific information to provide scientifically sound and objective answers to public concerns about the possible hazards of low-level electromagnetic fields. Despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields is harmful to human health.

The WHO has also reviewed over 25,000 articles and found no link of mobile tower EMF emissions and any adverse impact on human health.

The session concluded with an interactive Q&A session between senior government officials, participants from civil society where residents were also advised to use good quality handsets as well.