Friday, October 7, 2011

South Bombay intensifies stir against cell towers

Hindustan Times - 8 Oct 2011 - Pg 5

Tired of petitioning the state government about electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation from cell phone towers installed at Sahyadri, the government guesthouse at Malabar Hill, actor Juhi Chawla and her neighbours have now put up banners explaining the ill-effects of radiation. The residents of three premises – Veer Bhavan (where Chawla lives), Raj Niketan and Morarji Bungalow – allege that they have been affected by the EMF radiation emitted from the cell phone towers installed at Sahyadri and Sailors Apartment.

Altogether, seven banners were put up in the three residential premises. “We have done this because of the inaction of our neighbours – Sahyadri and Sailors Apartment. In these banners we have explained the adverse effects of radiation on public health – like headache, memory loss, fatigue, miscarriage, heart problems, cancer and leukaemia,” said Prakash Munshi, a resident of Raj Niketan.

The residents claimed that the Indian standard of EMF radiations is actually harmful. “India follows International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines of 1998, which allows exposure of 4,500 milli watts per sq metre. This is considered to be extremely high,” said Neha Kumar, a director of Wilcom Technologies, an IIT-Bombay incubated company.

Kumar added, “Recent research states that only 1 milli watt is safe exposure outdoors. The radiation detected at Malabar Hill is 42.36 milli watts per sq metre.”

The residents have made several complaints to Sahyadri state guesthouse, the chief minister and Milind Deora, minister of state for IT and communications. “Our complaints has been forwarded to the public works department (PWD) but we haven’t received any response from them,” said Munshi.

When contacted, a senior PWD official who did not wish to be named, said, “PWD has executed contracts with mobile companies with due permission of the General Administration Department of the state government. We are aware of the residents’ complaints and are working on sorting it out. We are trying to reduce the EMF radiations or will remove the towers. The final call will be taken by November 15.

On the other hand, Vijay Zaveri, chairman of Sailors Apartment said, “Such mobile towers are present across Mumbai. We have confirmed with the concerned people and they have assured us there is nothing to worry.”

SoBo intensifies stir against cell towers - Hindustan Times

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