Top Court Orders Mobile Tower To Shut Down. Minister Says No Health Risk

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Manoj Sinha, Telecom Minister said there is no evidence that cellphone towers pose a health risk.


New Delhi:  42-year-old Harish Chand Tiwari has given the Sharma house 20 years of service. In 2002, the digital revolution was taking over major cities like Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and up came a BSNL cellphone tower next door to the Sharmas.

After the tower's installation, Mr Tiwari's health gradually deteriorated with frequent bouts of fever, night sweats and fatigue. In 2013, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

"The sound of cancer is a death sentence for a poor man like me. My cancer was because of the cellphone tower. I have two children and a family that is dependent on me but we had to borrow money, sell my wife's jewellery to collect cash for my treatment," says Mr Tiwari.

He read about the perils of electromagnetic radiation that a cellphone tower emits. His multiple requests to the collector to get the tower removed from the residential area went unheeded.

Despite the debate around the cellphone towers mushrooming amid our neighbourhoods, the Telecom Minister remains relentless on his stand. Manoj Sinha, Telecom Minister, tells NDTV, "There is no evidence that cellphone towers pose a health risk. It is completely safe and there is no need for people to panic and worry."

With the help of his boss' daughter-in-law, he moved the Supreme Court against the BSNL tower installed on his neighbour's rooftop. In a petition, he claims the tower that is less than 50 metres from the house where he worked, exposed him to harmful radiation.

In a historic move, responding to the petition, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said, "We direct that the particular mobile tower shall be deactivated by BSNL within seven days from today."

AP Singh, DGM BSNL says, "Upon inspection, we found that 212 cellphone towers were emitting more than the optimum radiation and fined them Rs 10 Lakh each. We are also adhering to the Supreme Court order and are dismantling the tower."


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