Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted from these towers is
so high that four-fifth of the Capital’s area falls under
the “unsafe” category, exposing Delhiites to a new kind of
health threat that very few are aware of, says a study
commissioned by Tehelka newspaper and carried out by Cogent,
a Delhi-based company working on radiation safety solutions.
The surveyors mapped “100 radiation hotspots” in the city
where EMR from cell towers was higher than acceptable.
According to established norms, the radiation level of 600
milliwatts per metre square (mW/msq) is considered safe.
Forty of the 100 spots had “extreme anomaly” in radiation
levels — the levels were seven times the limit. These were
“high-risk areas”. Thirty-one spots had “unsafe” radiation,
with levels two to six times the safe limit, while nine
spots are “borderline”—just over the limit.
The opening and closing ceremonies and the athletics
competition of the Commonwealth Games, for instance, fall in
“unsafe areas”. The Yamuna Sports Complex is also said to be
Safdarjung Hospital, Modern School, Vasant Vihar, and Delhi
Police headquarters are in the “high-risk” zone. At
Safdarjung, the level was 4000 mW/msq. It was the same at
Connaught Place and ISBT Kashmere Gate.
“We had got the Delhi government to stop the installation of
cell towers in residential areas a few years ago. People
were complaining of headache and other symptoms of radiation
exposure,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, general secretary,
Residents’ Welfare Associations’ Joint Front.
“There are indicative studies to prove that this radiation
is harmful for people living in a 300 metre radius of the
But those who install these towers said there was no
problem. “A World Health Organization (WHO) study says that
radiation from cellphone towers doesn’t harm anyone. There
is no study to prove otherwise,” said K.N. Srivastava of
Towers and Commercial Space Association.
There are only 20 of the 100 spots that were found to be
safe. PM House, the residence of Sonia Gandhi and that of CM
Shiela Dikshit are some of the “safe” areas, the study says.
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