Monday, May 13, 2013

DoT, TERM cells sole authorities for norms - Indian Express

Aril 28, 2013 - Indian Express

DoT, TERM cells sole authorities for norms
Mihika Basu : Mumbai, Sun Apr 28 2013, 03:22 hrs
WHILE residents' associations are meeting in Mumbai Sunday to push for better norms governing mobile phone tower antennas, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has reiterated that DoT and the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cells are sole authorities responsible for enforcing norms as well as compliance with respect to cellphone towers and EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation levels.

DoT officials said one must not view cellphone towers as sources of income and asked state government officials if they can have uniform taxes. This was communicated in a recent meeting between department officials, industry representatives and state government officials for a fresh round of consultations on draft guidelines issued by DoT in 2012.

The guidelines say that in respect of rooftop towers with multiple antennas, rooftop usage for longer duration should be discouraged. It says keeping public interest in mind, there is a need of regular interaction between TERM cell of DoT and state/district administration under district collector. It has proposed to set up state and district telecom committees for reviewing telecom infrastructure related issues at state/district level.

The guidelines say "all radiation related technical details are dealt with by TERM cells".

The draft rules talk about single window clearance for telecom service provider/infrastructure provider by the local body/state.

Such instructions assume significance as BMC had sought suggestions on a draft policy, issued last year, which proposes ban on new cellphone towers on hospital and school premises. Also, the Rajasthan High Court order directing the removal of mobile phone towers installed overhead or in the vicinity of schools and hospitals is being heard in the Supreme Court.

"To clear confusion, it was re-emphasised during the meeting that DoT/TERM cell is the single point regarding compliance with EMF regulations and EMF related issues," said sources.

Cellphone tower operators have been instructed to put up appropriate signages at the towers.

It was also communicated that for towers near airports, no separate approval is required from local airport authorities as this aspect is built into the initial application sent to the Standing Advisory Committee on Radio Frequency Allocation (SACFA).

The draft guidelines will be put up on DoT website later.

No policy on mobile towers yet

Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 26, 2013