Mobile service providers will have to pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh per mobile phone tower from November if it does not conform to internationally accepted limits of radiation, government told the Lok Sabha today.
"To avoid health hazard from radiation of Mobile Towers, Department of Telecom has issued instructions to all Access Service Providers to conform to the limits of radiation as prescribed by International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) from time-to-time," Minister of State for Communications Sachin Pilot said. He said government has asked service providers to have all the base transreceiver station (BTS) self-certified as meeting radiation norms.
The self-certification details have to be submitted to respective Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells of DoT by November 15, 2010, Pilot said. "If a site fails to meet the Electro Magnetic Radiation criterion, a penalty of Rs five lakh shall be levied per BTS per service provider," he said.
Pilot said the service providers have been instructed that all new BTS sites should start radiating only after the self- certificate has been submitted to relevant TERM Cells.
Congress member Manish Tewari wanted a scientific study to be conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research on the health hazards of radiation from mobile towers. "There is a study by WHO and they have established a clear linkage between malignant tumor and radiation. This would be the biggest public health issue in the next two decades," he said.
Pilot asked the members not be alarmist over the matter as government was well aware of the issue of radiation from towers and mobile handsets.
A meeting of Health Ministry officials, World Health Organisation and service providers has been planned to ensure implementation of acceptable norms, he added.