Jan. 7: Despite missing several deadlines, telcos have still not been able to certify over one lakh telecom towers on radiation emission levels. The past few years have seen concerns over emissions emitted by these towers, and the possible implications on health.
The Centre had asked telecom companies to self-certify these towers on radiation emission levels. So far, 1.3 lakh of the 5.6 lakh odd towers in the country still remain to get the ‘self-certification’ stamp by telecom firms.
The earlier deadline was November 15. These companies could now face a fine of Rs. 5 lakh for each site that hasn’t been certified yet.
However, telecom firms claim these towers are safe and certifying the remaining towers is merely a waste of time. On their part GSM operators association, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that as per the guidelines, companies besides giving certificates that these towers (BTS) adhere to radiation norms have also to comply with other formalities such as submitting photographs of BTS’s and putting signs on them.
“As far as the critical part of testing these BTS are concerned, that has been completed all over the country. It is in others parts where we are facing delays. Because all the parts of the order has not been completed, and the telecom operators have not submitted the applications,” said Mr Rajan S. Mathews, director general COAI.
He added that the operators have asked the telecom department to give operators some more time and government is considering it. However, civil society groups demand that radiation audits should be performed by a third party. An equivalent would be to expect a speeding driver to voluntarily disclose the violation to police, they point out.
1.5 lakh cell towers yet to meet radiation standards | The Asian Age