Experts should probe hazards from cell towers: HC

Last Updated: Monday, May 31, 2010 - 17:45

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday directed the Telecommunication Secretary and the MCD
Commissioner to set up a committee comprising technical and
medical experts to inquire about potential health hazards due
to radiation from mobile towers.

While seeking a report in this regard within three
months, the High Court also provided interim relief to the
cellular operators by allowing them to operate mobile towers
in the city by depositing Rs 2 lakh instead of Rs 5 lakh.

The order passed by Justice Kailash Gambhir said that
Rs 2 lakh would be kept with High Court Registrar General
for six months as a fixed deposit and an additional Rs 50,000
will need to be paid by the operators who are using towers on
sharing basis for each such tower.

The court said the committee on the health issue
should also include as its members some NGOs working in the
telecom field and the association of cellular operators. The
Telecommunication Secretary has been asked to convene the
meeting of the committee in two weeks.

The court noted that there is no concrete finding on
the potential health hazards due to radiation from mobile
towers.

During the last hearing, the court had asked the MCD
to explain the rationale behind raising the tower installation
charges from Rs 1 lakh to 5 lakhs.

The High Court had on May 13 restrained the civic body
from sealing illegal mobile phone towers in the capital after
the mobile operators approached it challenging the decision of
the MCD to seal the towers of the mobile operators who did not
deposit the raised fee.

The mobile operators had contended that the decision
of the MCD to hike the charges was "arbitrary" and without any
sound basis.

The MCD had started the sealing of illegal mobile
phone towers after the deadline for operators to apply for
regularisation after paying the hiked amount had expired.

MCD had said that out of 5,364 towers in the city,
only 2,412 have requisite permission and the remaining 2,952
were illegal in all the city`s 12 municipal zones.

The MCD had on February 9 brought in a new policy on
mobile towers revising the guidelines for cell towers and
hiked the amount payable by the service providers to the MCD
for installing a tower from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 31, 2010 - 17:45

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