What is ironical is that telecom companies continue to install towers, which have a radiation power level of 7620 microwatt/m2 despite the specified level being just 600 microwatt/m2. This standard fixed by the International Commission of Non-Iodised Radiation is not being followed thanks to the competition in the market.
There is too much competition in the market and today’s consumer only asks for better network coverage. Cell phone companies contend that if they put up towers at the specified limit, then they would need at least four towers in place of one, which does not gel too well with their business.
The most common problems that one experiences due to radiation are uneasiness and headaches. However, doctors say that this could be purely psychological. Dr Sharada Bhat, a general practitioner, says that she has come across many cases where people have complained of uneasiness after talking for long hours on a mobile phone.
“I have found that in many cases it is purely physiological,” she says.
However, there are an equal number of cases in which such occurrences have happened due to the generation of heat while talking on the mobile.
The petitioners before the Kerala High Court, however, sing a different tune. They say that exposure to telecommunication towers could cause fatal diseases such as cancer and embryo disruption. It was also pointed out that there are several case studies to show people living near telecommunication towers were more prone to diseases.
Senior advocate, P N Rao says that cell phone companies will be failing in their duty if they do not tell the general public about the ill-effects of setting up towers. Every citizen under the Constitution of India has the right to life and hence he ought to know what is right and what is wrong for him.
Rao says that if any citizen has apprehensions, he should seek an explanation from the company putting up the tower and if that remedy fails then he has a right to approach the court of law.
The Central government too is looking into the matter and has constituted a panel to study the problem and report to it. The panel is expected to brief the government on the ill-effects of setting up towers and also make recommendations on how to ensure that the health of the people is safe and secure.
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