DoT asks states not to seal mobile towers without permission

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DoT asks states not to seal mobile towers without permission
The Department of Telecom has asked states to refrain from sealing mobile towers or disconnecting power supply to them without the permission of its unit, TERM cell, on account of radiation related issues.

"In order to avoid disruption in mobile communications, an essential service, sealing of BTS towers and disconnection of electricity may not be resorted to without the consent of the respective TERM Cell of DoT in respect of the EMF related issues," DoT said in an advisory issued to states this month.

This is expected to provide relief to telecom companies as many state and local governments have been taking frequent action against them.

As a measure to increase safety, India has implemented stricter radiation norms than are followed by other countries.

Industry representatives maintain that due to the lack of awareness on radiation, people object to the installation or working of mobile towers.

Besides, around 5,000 towers in Delhi and Mumbai were termed illegal by local authorities and closed down.

There was also an order from the Rajasthan High Court which directed telecom operators in the state to remove within two months their towers falling in the vicinity of schools, hospitals and play grounds citing reasons of emissions from towers affecting the health of people.

"There have been instances of mobile towers being shut down due to such reasons in the states of Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, etc," Industry body COAI said.

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