Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chandigarh, Goa, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi,Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Indore - News from all these states showing concern on Cell Tower Radiation

Concern in Chandigarh, Goa, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Goa, Delhi,Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Indore - News from all these states showing concern on Cell Tower Radiation. Does the Industry still have to say there is not enough evidence and concern!!

HYDERABAD: 2 more cell towers removed

HYDERABAD: Two more cellphone towers were removed at Fatehnagar on Thursday by civic officials following complaints of radiation from locals.

On Wednesday, two cellphone towers were removed by the officials of the town planning wing of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on a complaint by Sardar Patel House Owners Society of Fatehnagar. They alleged that a woman died of cancer due to electromagnetic radiation emitted by the cellphone towers.

Also, several cellphone towers do not have structural stability. With weak structures, there were incidents of either buildings developing cracks or collapsing due to weight of the towers.

The GHMC had served notices on all operators a few months ago on the AP High Court's directions to regulate rooftop cellphone towers. There are nearly 2,800 cell towers in the GHMC area. Of them, 1,154 cellphone towers were erected on building rooftops, with 50 being ground-based, remaining 1,791 were rooftop poles.

Telecom giant Airtel has the highest number of cellphone towers with 432 towers, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) 241, Tata 218, Vodafone 120 towers, Idea 30 and Reliance 55.

GHMC officials said rooftop cellphone towers were of concern as they carry weight and structural stability was required for them.

After a building developed cracks in Kapra and High Court directions, the GHMC stopped giving permissions to erect cellphone towers in the city.

"New permissions for cellphone towers were stopped in February 2008. Towers which were erected in the last 10 years are being checked," GHMC chief city planner B Purushottam Reddy told TOI.

The GHMC gave telecom operators time till January 31, 2009, to give structural stability certificate and drawings, building owners' agreement copy, no objection certificate from neighbours and surrounding areas and other documents.

For checking structural stability, seven agencies__Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Osmania University Engineering College, Vasavi Engineering College, Chaitanya Bharati Institute of Technology (CBIT), Matrusri College of Engineering, M J College of Engineering and Civil Aid__were enlisted by the corporation.

For checking the cell towers, the operators were asked to pay Rs 25,000 for each tower. According to GHMC officials, Airtel has not paid the required Rs 25,000 per each tower and BSNL paid only part amount and rest have paid the required amount.

"Every agency was entrusted 60 towers initially. The process of checking structural stability is on," GHMC superintending engineer Mohd Abdul Rahman told TOI.

MOHALI: Cell towers: GMADA to act

MOHALI: Come October, owners who have not acted on the directions of GMADA to meet security standards for mobile towers erected atop their buildings may have to pay a heavy price for the laxity.

GMADA has decided to remove over a dozen such mobile towers that have been erected in violation of safety norms. Earlier, as many as 100 structures were put on notice by GMADA seeking a reply against the illegal practice.

Talking to TOI, GMADA estate officer Balbir Singh Dhol stated that according to a fresh survey conducted by field staff, there were at least 97 mobile towers located in commercial, industrial and residential areas of Mohali. "We had issued notices to all these mobile tower owners to either get their structures regularized by meeting safety standards. Subsequently, 40 such mobile tower owners met GMADA officials to explain their position," he added.

The owners were educated about safety requirements such as height and material. Most of them had agreed to meet the safety standards within next couple of weeks, Dhol stated.

Meanwhile, GMADA had issued a second notice to rest of the violators. A final notice was also issued to almost a dozen illegal builders. "If no reply is received from these violators by September 30, GMADA will have no choice but to remove the said towers. Contrary to GMADA policy, at least a dozen mobile towers are still located in residential areas. These will have to be shifted to commercial or industrial areas," the estate officer said, adding that there was no provision in the policy to accommodate such towers in residential areas. "These are deemed as illegal," he added.

Meanwhile, residents continue to live in fear of health hazards caused due to radiations. Various studies have shown that prolonged exposure to electromagnetic radiation could be exposed if such towers are shifted to commercial areas.

Expressing concern, Gautam Mittal, a BPO employee residing in Phase 3B2 where one such mobile towers is located, stated that earlier in the year Telecom regulator TRAI had issued guidelines to mobile phone operators across the country to adhere to safety regulations in residential areas. "It is a welcome move, though a bit delayed," he added.

On the other hand, Nishant Anand, an advocate residing in Phase VII, said shifting these mobile towers from residential areas may lead to loss of network. "The move may backfire as already a large number of people living in Phase VII experience network failures. The situation is worse in flats as those living on ground floors experience frequent signal losses," he added.

HYDERABAD: Resurvey of city cell towers soon

HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will take up a resurvey of cell towers in the city, including those that came up in the last two years.

A decision to this effect was taken by mayor Banda Karthika Reddy on Tuesday at a meeting, with engineering and town planning officials, on cell towers.

A survey was conducted by the engineering wing in January 2008 to ascertain the number of cell towers as telecom operators were erecting towers without any permission from the corporation.

According to the 2008 survey, there are 2,997 cell towers belonging to operators like Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL, Idea, Reliance and Tata. Later, on the directions of the AP High Court, the GHMC had got the cell towers' structural stability verified by private agencies last year. The court had directed the GHMC to check stability of towers which were erected prior to January 2008 without any permission.

Structural stability of each cell tower was checked by private consultants by collecting Rs 25,000 from each company. The stability study revealed that 198 towers were unsafe and structurally weak. Now, during the meeting, it came to the notice that several operators had erected cell towers in the last two years which were not checked by the corporation.

Mayor Banda Karthika Reddy directed the engineering and town planning officials to conduct circle-wise resurvey and submit a report within 15 days.

In view of concerns over radiation from cell towers, the mayor has decided to write a letter to the AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) to find out whether cell towers pose danger to human beings. It was also decided to take steps on removal of structurally unsafe cell towers and collect Rs one lakh fee from each cell tower as decided by the state government by overcoming legal hurdles as some operators had approached the High Court and got status quo orders.

Gurgaon: MCG to seal 298 ‘hazardous’ mobile towers near houses

GURGAON: In a bizarre move, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has decided to seal all the mobile towers in its jurisdiction with immediate effect, citing health hazards.

This move is seen affecting mobile services particularly in the old city. While it's not clear what the health hazards caused by mobile towers are, this decision was taken unanimously during Friday's House meeting. There are a total of 502 mobile towers in the city out of which 298 are under the MCG's jurisdiction.

The MCG wants the mobile operators to relocate these towers from residential areas to commercial locations. "It's a well known fact that the radiation from these towers causes deadly diseases like cancer and we want to ensure the safety of our residents. There are hundreds of mobile towers in residential areas and in case somebody gets affected by this radiation everybody will blame us for it," said mayor Vimal Yadav.

According to Yadav, mobile operators have to pay Rs 2.5 lakh per tower annually to the municipality, but they have not done so in the past three years.

Link -

Monday, January 16, 2012

WHO warning over mobile tower radiation

It's been 9 months since the WHO warned of a cell phone and mobile tower radiation leading to increased risks of cancer. So what has the government done so far to protect and raise awareness on the potential risks and do's and dont's. The issue of radiation covers two major areas. The first - radiation from mobile phone towers that have cropped up all over cities over the last decade posing a huge health risk. The second is radiation from cellphone that we are exposed to on a day to day basis.

Jaipur Story: Cancer horror over cell phone tower radiation

News Coverage in Jaipur, Rajasthan - Dec 2011

When the Kasliwal brothers (Mr. Sanjay and Sudhir Kasliwal)developed brain tumour and their dog developed stomach cancer within a gap of only a few months, their doctors advised them to look for mobile towers in the neighbouring as they suspected radiation from mobile towers to be a possible cause. What was found was quite alarming. There where antennas of various mobile companies installed on a tower just within 20 meter distance from their house. On measuring the radiation levels, the levels were found to be quite high at several places. When the word spread, others came forward and it was found that there were seven cancer cases in total in the vicinity and many others were facing health problems like sleep disturbance, headaches, fatigue, concentration problems etc. Following this news there were series of articles in Jaipur Newspapers.

The media gave their contact numbers requesting people who were facing health problems from mobile towers to contact them. Several people called them and their stories were shared in the papers. Besides this, school children were seen with banners protesting against excess radiation from mobile towers requesting to reduce the power transmission. Besides humans, a fall in bird and bee population has also been observed.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Form panel to assess mobile towers' impact: HC

Times of India - 11 Jan 2011

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday directed for constitution of a seven-member panel to assess the impact of mobile towers installed in residential areas and present its report in the court on April 16.

A division bench of Justice DP Singh and Justice SC Chaurasia passed the above order on the writ petition filed by Ram Singh Jauhari. The petitioner had stated that the radiation emitted from the mobile towers is dangerous to the health of the common people. Scientific reports have confirmed the fact. In this view, he sought ban on installing mobile towers in the residential areas.

While constituting the panel, the bench said that four IIT specialists from Kanpur, Delhi, Kharagpur and Mumbai would comprise the panel. There would be three other specialists from other fields.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

National Seminar on Mobile Phone Tower

Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry

National Seminar on Mobile Phone Tower, held in association with GCCI and Dept. of Science, Technology and Environment (DSTE), on 6th Jan 2012 at GCCI, Panaji. This seminar was aimed at creating awareness and to develop understanding of health risk associated with long term cell phone and tower radiation exposure and also appropriate remedies, suitable precautions, towards being healthy.

The day long programme had four technical sessions with six presentations on various topics by Prof. Girish Kumar, IIT, Bombay, Mr.Pradeep Phadke, GTL,Pune, Dr. Avadhani, Manipal University, Dr.Namrata Redkar, Mr.Sujeet Kumar, DGM, BSNL, Goa, including a panel Discussion on “Use of Mobile Phone- Boon or Bane”, moderated by Deepak Chodankar, Vice President, Smartlink Network solutions. Eminent personalities like Mr.Shambhu Calangutkar, TataIndicom, Mrs. Janet Desouza, Psychologist, Prof.Girish Kumar, IIT,Bombay and Mr.Pradeep Phadke, GTL,Pune participated in the panel discussion.

Prof Girish Kumar's presentations are available for download:


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

City’s signal drops as hsg societies cell out over health fears: Mumbai

Cover Story - Mumbai Mirror - 7 Jan 2012

Cell tower installation companies in a big bind
City’s signal drops as hsg societies cell out over health fears

• Situation changes from five years ago when housing societies welcomed the big bucks from cell companies; urgent need to get norms in place to limit and monitor radiation, say experts

September, 2011: Shankar Mahal society in Breach Candy gets rid of a cell tower that has been on its terrace for five years, and has been taking care of a large part of its maintenance cost.

January, 2012: Opposite Dadar station, Bakul building is embroiled in a tussle to have the cell tower, which been on its terrace since 2004, removed.

January, 2012: At Bandra's Perry Cross Road, the residents' welfare association has been circulating articles and reports talking about health hazards of cellular radiation, and dissuading its 45 societies from renewing contracts or installing new towers.

This situation is the exact opposite of how things were five years ago, when buildings were vying for have cell towers as a means of earning revenue. But recent reports about the possible hazards of cell-towers radiation is prompting a number of housing societies across the city to choose health over money.

This, in turn, is creating an odd conundrum wherein diminishing towers are being cited as one of the primary causes of network problems in large parts of the city.Sameer Sinha, a corporate communications official at Indus Towers, which manages the cell towers of leading companies such as Vodafone and Airtel, describes the situation as a “vicious circle”.

“There is lot of misinformation among societies. At our end we are finding facts regarding radiation and passing on the same to our clients. GSM is a European technology. Had there been fear or proof of health hazards, they would have not continued with it,” he said.

The fact, however, is that these disputes are now a world-wide phenomenon, with laws in several Western countries already banning the installation of towers near schools and playgrounds. And while there may be no official studies proving a link between radiation and health problems, there are also none that can conclusively deny it.

Residents of Breach Candy’s Shankar Mahal Society, for example, had a sudden rethink about the cell tower on their terrace after doctors told them that it could be the cause of acute health problems suffered by two residents – a 13-year-old boy who was diagnosed with lymphocytic leukaemia and a 66-year-old man who had kidney trouble.

Though they were getting Rs 6 lakh per annum as rent from the mobile company, they decided that the price they were paying in return was too heavy.

Sunil Majithia, a former secretary of the building, told Mumbai Mirror: “Once we were told that the illnesses could be due to the proximity to harmful radiation coming from the tower, we had no option but to get rid of it.”

This, however, led to people using the Vodafone service in the Breach Candy vicinity experiencing network problems. “For a good three months, we had no network, and even when we got some, the frequency was poor. Since I am running a full-time business, this caused me a lot of inconvenience,” Nihaal Bagadia, another resident of Shankar Mahal, said.

A similar tussle is now playing out at Bakul building on Senapati Bapat Marg. Building residents have been battling for over a year to get the cell towers removed from their building terrace. This month, seven years after a tower was installed on their terrace, they decided to not renew the contract.

“We have been following health reports which clearly indicate cell towers emit harmful radiation. Though the cell towers get us revenue, we have realised our health is more important,” said Dr Uday Shankar Rao, who stays on the third floor of the building.

If the tower is removed, approximately 70,000 commuters who come to Dadar station are likely to suffer because of no network.

With the situation getting worse by the day, cell companies say they’re finding it extremely difficult to maintain quality services in Mumbai.

The high cost of land makes it impossible for them to acquire open plots and erect towers, and towers on street lights and poles are “not feasible”. The only other option left is commercial complexes and slum rehabilitation buildings. “It’s relatively easier to convince owners of such buildings mainly because they’re conscious about revenues. But the problem is that not all of them are strategically located. The network of criss-crossing housing societies spread across the city are much better,” Sinha said.

“After Shankar Mahal residents asked us to go, for example, it took us two months to find an alternative site. Similarly at Bakul, we’ve been desperately trying to look for another society within 80 meter radius but haven’t found it yet. We do not want our end-users to suffer,” he added.

The crux of the problem, contended Girish Kumar, a professor at IIT, was that service providers were not following proper radiation norms.

“Several studies across the globe, and my own study, have said that higher radiation levels pose a hazard to citizens. The government must enforce strict rules and regular monitoring must be done by a third party,” he said.

“The rate at which residents are refusing to allow towers atop their buildings, there will be no towers left in the city and all cell users will be at receiving end. We must face the truth that cell phones are a necessary evil and come up with a comprehensive policy to ensure they don’t harm us.”

Read more:

Awareness on Cell Tower Radiation: Goa

'Mobile radiation ups cancer risk'

Times of India, Goa, 7 Jan 2012

Panaji: "The 4.5 lakh mobile towers in India are turning the country into an open microwave," warns Girish Kumar, researcher and faculty at IIT Bombay.

Elaborating, Kumar who has conducted studies on mobile radiation said, "With 1w power (same output as cell phones) temperatures increase by 1'C in 500 seconds (9 minutes)."

Kumar was speaking at the national seminar on 'mobile phone and tower radiations-risks and remedies' at Ghall, Panaji, by Government Polytechnic Bicholim, Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( GCCI) and the department of science, technology and environment ( DTSE).

He noted that mobile companies were choosing to install higher intensity towers to cut costs but were compromising on public safety. Citing a case study where six residents of a high-rise Mumbai building facing a mobile tower were affected by cancer, he went on to explain the link of rise in cancer cases among residents living near cell towers.

"Those living in a 50-300m radius face a high risk-much worse than smoking as you cannot see or smell radiation," he said, while adding that "you cannot have coincidences everywhere".

"Biological effects include drying of fluids around the eyes, brain joints, heart and abdomen leading to sleep disruption, headaches, lack of concentration and memory loss, due to changes in the electrical activity of the brain. Prolonged exposure to mobile radiation increases chances of cancer by 200-400% over 8-10 years," Kumar stressed. It can also lead to miscarriages as it affects the amniotic fluids, he added.

Citing examples of farmhouses, Kumar also observed that mobile tower radiation was affecting the environment and fruit-bearing trees as well as birds.

Explaining further, Kumar said the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) in India has been fixed at a much higher level than it should be to benefit telecom operators who contribute 30% of India's GDP. He felt part of the solution lay in reducing the transmitted power from towers which would necessitate setting up of additional towers at a much higher cost.

Industry representative Pradeep Phadke, CEO of Phadnis Telecom, attempted to dispel fears by stating that the cellular industry would like to believe that claims made by scientists were unfounded or pose insignificant risk.

Phadke felt a trade-off was required between the benefits and ill effects of mobiles. Namrata Redkar, an aura (human energy) researcher, said, "Waves or radiations destroy vital enzymes that catalyze the electrical system which activates our nervous system."

Read more: