Sibal for hiking fine for breaking radiation norms by telcos

Sibal for hiking fine for breaking radiation norms by telcos
New Delhi: The DoT may increase the penalty on mobile operators for violating tower radiation rules to Rs 10 lakhs as Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has suggested hiking the fine two times higher, sources said.

Sibal has asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to raise the penalty "two times higher", sources said

At present, the fine is Rs 5 lakh on every mobile tower or antenna violating radiation norms.

Government had ordered that radiation from mobile towers should not be more than one-tenth of standards prescribed by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

The telecom department had issued notices slapping penalties to the tune of Rs 351 crore on various companies for violating radiation norms.

Telecom Industry bodies COAI and AUSPI along with their members Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, Reliance Communications, Sistema Shyam and Tata Teleservices in a recent meeting with the Telecom Minister had contested that out of total notice issued by DoT only 1.2 per cent are for non-compliance of radiation levels and rest are for delayed submission of documents.

Sibal provided relief in this regard to the industry and asked DoT officials to impose only token penalty for incomplete submission of documents and non-compliance of signage etc.

The Minister has asked industry to come up with complete data base on radiation by July 15 in which it should provide details on radiation levels, all technical information along with photograph of mobile towers and nearby buildings.