India: 1. Cell tower guidelines. 2.Taking down illegal cell towers. 3. Boek

woensdag, 28 augustus 2013 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

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27 aug. 2013

1. Telecom companies welcome centre’s cell tower guidelines

MUMBAI: Telecom Industry bodies have welcomed the Department of Telecommunications' (DOT) advisory guidelines to state governments on the issue of installation of mobile towers, stating that these guidelines, compiled by the DoT after receiving inputs from all stakeholders, will go a long way in increasing the tele-density (for both voice and data) in the States where the penetration of mobile communications are low and will help stabilize the growth of this vital infrastructure sector in the country.

In a joint statement, the industry bodies, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) and Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), said that the new guidelines are welcome as its implementation will ensure the much needed industry growth required to serve the customers. DoT had recently issued the new guidelines to all State Governments to enable them to develop a ''unified approach'' on the subject of installation of telecom towers.

The industry expressed its appreciation towards the fact that the Department has already advised the Chief Secretaries of all States and UTs to follow these guidelines in order to bring uniformity in processing applications for mobile tower installations across the country. The Industry bodies further appreciated the fact that the guidelines call for ''avoiding disruption in mobile communications, as it is an essential service''. Thus, sealing of BTS towers/disconnection of electricity may not be resorted to without the consent of the respective TERM cells of DoT in respect of EMF concerns or issues. The guidelines further mandate that the TERM cell is the nodal agency to address all technical issues related to electro-magnetic radiation and its emission levels, wireless frequency allocations, etc. These guidelines will help clear all misconceptions with regard to the EMF radiations and alleged health hazards.

''The new guidelines will clarify the roles of various State and Central bodies in the administration of this important sector and enabling trouble free installation and functioning of telecom infrastructure,'' said Rajan S Mathews, Director General of COAI. Ashok Sud, Secretary General of AUSPI, remarked, ''We sincerely hope that all the State Governments, Union Territories, Municipalities and Local Bodies will recognize the stellar work done by the Department of Telecom, and whole - heartedly and uniformly adopt the new guidelines across the country''.

TAIPA Director General, Umang Das said, ''These guidelines issued by the Department will help in facilitating the State and local bodies in formulating their policies for creation of this critical infrastructure in their jurisdictions and avoid undue interference and multiple frameworks from such authorities so as to achieve the enshrined objectives of National Telecom Policy.''

As per guidelines, the EMF emission levels from mobile towers have been based on strict norms and are 1/10th of international norms set by ICNIRP. Power Density Limit has been set to 0.45 watt/ m2 for 900 MHz, 0.9 watt/ m2 for 1800 MHz and 1.0 watt/m2 for 2100 MHz frequency bands respectively based on technology requirements of 2G, 3G & 4G. Markedly, the guidelines do not stipulate any exclusion zones, like schools, hospitals or residential areas, where towers may not be installed or located. The industry is glad that one of its key demands of a ''Single Window Clearance'' process has been met in order to ensure faster processing and development.

The guidelines encourage a nominal one-time fee, single window clearance, and electricity connection on priority for mobile towers. They also recommend ''a nominal One time Administrative Fee'' to be levied for processing of all applications which is encouraging for the industry as it affirms that the industry is no longer viewed as a cash cow for the exchequer.

The government's plans to educate people on EMF emissions from mobile towers through educational programs and publications are also a welcome step for the industry.

Een gedeeltelijke overwinning van de Telecom industrie, maar wel met forse consequenties voor illegale zendmasten:

2. BMC to start taking down illegal cell towers in Sept.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation next month will start the process of dismantling nearly 1800 illegal mobile phone towers in the city.

Nearly two weeks after it put in place a comprehensive mobile phone tower policy, the municipal corporation has decided to first target those towers that are not caught in a court case filed by service operators in 2011, when the municipal corporation had first initiated action against them.

''The new policy will be implemented with retrospective effect, which means it will cover all 4,500 mobile towers on rooftops in the city. Of these, we have identified 3,620 as illegal.

However, since some of the unauthorised towers are part of a case filed against the BMC by mobile operators, we will next month start the process of bringing down the rest,'' Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte said.

The mobile phone companies had managed to stall action against illegal towers in 2011 on the grounds that the BMC did not have a policy in place to regulate these towers.

With the new policy, which disallows more than two towers on a building and makes the consent of 70 per cent of a building's residents mandatory for installing mobile towers among other conditions, this excuse no longer exists.

The BMC will start by issuing notices to mobile phone operators and giving them two weeks to reply. Once the municipal corporation's legal department gives it the go-ahead after going through the responses, the work on dismantling the towers will start.

Kunte, however, clarified that though the policy incorporates guidelines issued by the Department of Telecommunication, it only deals with structural aspects of mobile towers. ''It is the DoT's prerogative to look into radiation-related issues.''

While citizen groups that have been focusing on health hazards of mobile tower radiation are happy with the BMC's move, mobile operators say that any harsh action will impact the quality of services.

''If the BMC takes harsh and arbitrary action, we will have to move court again. The towers are not illegal, many times mobile companies apply for permission but local bodies take time to respond. If the BMC goes ahead and removes the towers, network will be affected. Ultimately, the end-consumer will suffer,'' said Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India.

BJP corporator Vinod Shelar, who has spearheaded a campaign against illegal towers, said the BMC should not spare illegal towers. ''It is shocking that only a quarter of the towers in the city are legal. The number of cases of people falling ill due to mobile towers is on the rise. The BMC must demolish all illegal towers immediately. The corporation has turned a blind eye all along, which is why so many illegal towers have come up.''

The new policy bars installation of mobile phone towers on schools, colleges, hospitals, orphanages, child rehabilitation centres and old age homes. It specifies that apart from the consent of 70 per cent of a building's residents, permission of every person living on the top floor must be taken.

Owners of a building keen to host cell phone towers must submit a structural stability certificate from a BMC-licensed structural engineer. If the building is over 30 years old, a fresh structural stability certificate will be needed every five years. A warning signboard must be installed at the entrance to the terrace where a tower is erected.

If a housing society wants cell phone towers removed due to radiation related issues, it will have to apply to the DoT. All government and civic agencies must consult Telecom Enforcement and Resource Monitoring (TERM) cells for approval to initiate action against a cell tower over radiation issues. Each state has its own TERM cell under the DoT.

3. The Radiation Threat

The Radiation Threat: An Emergency in the Making Harsaran Bir Kaur Pandey
Vikas Publishing House Pages: 147; Price: Rs 325

The book under review is an exposé on the serious dangers of radiations and the threat they pose to human and animal health and the environment.

A warning to all readers before even picking up this book: prepare yourself to be shocked and frightened. You are going to read about radiation and what damage that it can do to those knowingly or unknowingly face it. Those who are endlessly attached to mobiles (yourself, your family members and friends), cell phones, laptops and such other modern paraphernalia are particularly warned.

Especially warned are those living opposite high tension electric poles and telecon towers. You are facing danger you never even dreamt of. First a word about radiation. All matter – living or non-living, active or inert, is made up of electrons, neutrons and protons that are – constantly vibrating and interacting to create a complex and intelligent network of inter-connected energy. All matter radiates these energies which may be beneficial, neutral or harmful. We have, for example, solar radiation; then you have man-made devices that exude radiation and this is where Harsaran Bir Kaur Pandey cones in.
As she points out, studies show that cell phone radiation is so effective that they even interfere with the navigation system of honey bee. Millions of bees are unable to find their way back to their hives and are dying. So much for bees. What about human beings?
Long term use of cell phones reduces the sperm count and motility or speed of the sperm. Pregnant mothers and their foetuses are threatened by close, long span use of cell phones and laptops. Doctors are reporting an increasing number of male patients who cannot procreate.
The author quotes a doctor at Artemis Hospital in Gurgaon, adjoining Delhi as saying that 50 to 60 per cent of his patients who were young people working in a Business Processing Out-sourcing (BPO) company could not conceive even after seven years of marriage. As she put it: “There are numerous studies that prove the increasing incidence of cancer as an outcome of living in the shadows of mobile towers”.
Harsaran Bir Kaur Pandey quotes a Hindustan (September 4, 2012) report as saying that “a ten country study covering 5,000 people proved that people who were using the mobile phone daily for over 30 minutes for ten years had a greater chance of getting brain tumours”.
A well-known scientist, speaking on the same subject is quoted as saying that those using mobile phones for the same period are liable to 60% increase in acoustic neuroma (damage to hearing) and a staggering 320% increase in damage to the eyes”. Small children and “in fact all those who use cell phones extensively are at risk”. Yet another scientist, Br Magda Havas is mentioned as warning that “using a mobile phone or a laptop when pregnant can seriously damage your baby”.
India, incidentally, is the second largest market for cell phones, after China. Even leaving the “cell phone switched on in a pocket can cause damage…” Then there is this matter of transmissions from mobile towers. The author cites an instance of a 20-storey building in Mumbai (which is named) fronted by a 7-storey building just 20 metres away on top of which a mobile tower had been placed.
Writes the author: “Three years after its establishment, six people living in that building on floors facing the tower had developed cancer”. The author quotes several case studies about the effect of radiation not only on human beings but on – of all things! – buildings as well.
There is the case of a building in Bangalore’s IT Park in Electronic City spread over an area of more than 4 lakh sq ft, equipped with all modern amenities, but was lying unoccupied for a long time because many buyers felt that they did not feel too good when they entered it. A similar case is reported of a South Sea Mall in Kolkota where business was poor because of “negative energy” around it.
If such is the case than what does one do? Give up on cell phones? Give up on laptops? What is frightening to think is that even areas with negative geo-energies on a highway can be responsible for frequent road accidents at that spot.
For instance, it was found by a path-breaking study conducted by a Maharashtra Institute of the presence of ‘high-incident spots’ on the Mumbai-Pune Highway that reported about 80 road accidents every month! The scientists checked these spots for geopathic radiations using scientific tools and confirmed that there were indeed underground water veins in the high-frequency accident spots. The matter was rectified.
It is claimed that there are remedies to such problems, both traditional and modern, like vaastu, not to speak of legal. For example there is an attempt being made to seek a ban on setting on high frequency mobile phone towers within 50 metres of residential premises, schools and hospitals.
Harsaran Bir reports an innovation called Environics that can direct or filter negative radiation so that their damage to the body and machines is “dramatically reduced”. The author says: “Applications of these solutions have already benefitted hundreds of companies in improving productivity and reducing stress levels…with cutting edge technology swamping the planet, we, as a thinking species, will have to adapt”.
It would seem that today Environics has over 3,000 feedbacks from various sectors that report lowered pulse rates and improved health of workers in institutions, offices, residences and oil refineries”. Anti-radiation Enviro Chips have been produced that change the nature of radiation from personal electronic communication devices.
Understandably, cell phone companies rubbish the efficacy of these products and question the need for them. One can, of course, be sceptical about the Enviro Chips. One can damn the founders of Environics as people out to make money by frightening men and women.
But my suggestion is that all those who spend hours with cell phones, laptops, etc – and even go to the extent of providing them to their children – will do well to read this book dispassionately and come to their own conclusions. Only a very foolish person will ignore Harsaran Bir Kaur Pandey’s findings.

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