The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), North East License Service Area (NELSA) today organised an awareness webinar on ‘Electromagnetic Radiation from Mobile Towers’.
This session was organised as part of the DoT’s public advocacy programme to make consumers aware of the growing need for mobile towers to build reliable telecom infrastructure and to break myths regarding the alleged ill effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure from mobile towers.
The webinar workshop was addressed by eminent key speakers and had around 200 participants, including the general public, government officials, residents’ welfare associations, students, doctors, telecom service providers, infrastructure providers and other officials.
Ravi Goel, Sr. DDG, DoT, NELSA, highlighted the need for telecom services in India and the challenges faced by industry stakeholders. “In this era of fast advancing digital technology, mobile users have a right to enjoy the benefits of telecommunication services in a seamless manner. We are venturing into an age of hyperconnectivity where the government is making every effort to densify telecom infrastructure and telecom towers are the backbone of Indian mobile communications. In order to magnify the efforts, it is important that the fear surrounding the theories about ill effects of EMF radiation from mobile towers are addressed factually to dispel such misconceptions,” he said.
Briefing the EMF awareness workshop, AK Jain, DDG (Compliance), DoT, NELSA, said, “The government of India has adopted one of the most stringent emission standards for mobile towers in the world. We follow norms that are 10 times stricter than what has been prescribed by ICNIRP and recommended by WHO globally.”
NELSA has tested 1,532 mobile phone towers (known in the industry as base transceiver stations) from April 2022 to November 2022 and all the BTSs have been found compliant as per DoT norms.
Dr Tushar Kant Joshi, Advisor to the Ministry of Health and Director, OEM Programme, Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, also shared his perspective and said, “The EMF radiation is low non-ionizing RF/electromagnetic energy emitted from mobile tower antennae and mobile handsets. Scientific research has found that low-powered, non-ionizing radiation emitted from cell towers has no ill effects on human health, whatsoever. Therefore, it becomes extremely essential to address the spread of misinformation and provide an authentic view of health concerns related to mobile towers. It is also important to be informed that no scientific or medical evidence is available to corroborate the argument used against mobile towers.’’
EMF radiation from mobile towers are strictly monitored and assessed on a regular basis. Evidence from credible and extensive research has ruled out any possibility of health issues originating from such EMF radiation. Moreover, eight High Courts have also upheld the same view and have delivered judgments that disprove all such unfounded fears and misguided activism that is posing a severe challenge to the overall growth and connectivity of the country. Hence, people need to be assured that any fear around mobile towers lacks scientific/factual foundation.
It was also mentioned that unscrupulous companies/agencies/individuals cheat the general public by promising them hefty monthly rental payments for installation of mobile towers. Such fraudsters ask their victims to deposit money in their personal/company accounts as security deposit/application fee/registration charges/stamp duty/government tax. After collecting the money these agencies vanish and become untraceable.
Further, it was also highlighted that use of telecom services through SIM cards and signals of foreign service providers on Indian territory violates the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 and persons involved in such types of acts are liable to face punishment as per provisions of Indian Telegraph Act 1885 and other applicable laws.