Meghalaya HC asks telecom operators to respond to tower relocation PIL

Meghalaya HC asks telecom operators to respond to tower relocation PIL
Mobile phone service providers in Meghalaya have been directed to file counter affidavits within four weeks in the High Court after a public-interest litigation (PIL) was filed seeking relocation of their towers away from schools, hospitals and congested areas.

The centre, the state government and six other mobile service providers were asked to file their affidavits within four weeks by a bench comprising Chief Justice P C Pant and Justice S R Sen recently, they said.

"By means of this writ petition in the nature of Public Interest Litigation, the petitioner has sought direction to the respondents to relocate mobile phone towers away from schools, hospitals and immediate vicinity of the congested areas," the order said.

The direction from the High Court came after an advocate Sankar Prosad Dass filed a petition alleging erratic construction of mobile towers in the city in contravention to the provisions laid by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

Mobile service providers are prohibited to set up towers near schools, hospital and residences, Dass said, adding as per the DoT guidelines, mobile towers should be set up at a distance of 20 meters for one, 35 meters for two, 45 meters for four and 55 meters for six towers.

Quoting the Inter Ministerial Report on Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) Radiation, Dass said the report clearly stated that radiation from mobile towers affect the health and well-being of people and environment besides birds and others.

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