Rights panel orders probe into mobile tower radiation



Kolkata: The West Bengal Human Rights Commission has asked the State Pollution Control Board to probe allegations of residents of a building in the city's posh Park Street that they faced health hazards from mobile phone towers, an official said on Friday.

The panel's directive came following a complaint from residents of Karnani Mansion about antennae and towers installed close to the roof of the sprawling building.

However, an apex association of cellular operators claimed that the radiation norms were within prescribed limits.

Commission joint secretary Sujay Kumar Haldar said the PCB has been directed to get the inquiry done by a competent officer. "The report has to be submitted in three weeks," he said.

The residents of the building had complained to the commission last week that many of them were feeling restless and suffering from insomnia because of radiation from the mobile phone towers.

Cellular Operators Association of India director general Rajan S. Mathews told IANS that Indian mobile tower radiation levels were 5000 times below the "first known impact" on the human body.

"As far as the health aspect is concerned, the radiation from mobile towers is the same as those from police and military wireless."

Regarding the complaint from the Karnani Mansion residents, Mathews said: "Earlier the Term Cell, Kolkata (of the department of telecommunications), had checked the radiation level and found it to be within specified radiation norms."

IANS