New Delhi: Observing that electromagnetic radiation from cell towers are a matter of "great concern", a parliamentary panel has asked the Environment Ministry to address the issue "comprehensively" and evolve a mechanism to create awareness among the people.
The committee on Demands for Grants (2015-16) of the Environment Ministry, chaired by former Union Minister Ashwani Kumar, has also urged the Ministry to implement the judgments of various courts on the matter immediately.
"The committee recommends that the Ministry should evolve a mechanism to create awareness on the subject among the people... This issue has to be addressed comprehensively and public hearings with stakeholders should be the basis for further action... The judgments of various courts on this issue need to be implemented forthwith," the committee said.
The committee noted that the Environment Ministry continues to maintain its "indifference" towards the issue of e-radiation from cell towers, despite it being a matter of "great concern" because of its reported impact on health of humans, animals, birds and honeybees.
It added that in the absence of any credible information from the government, people feel "agitated and worried".
The department of Telecommunication in its deposition before the committee had informed that norms for exposure limit for radio frequency has been reduced to 1/10th of the existing limits prescribed by International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and there was a difference of opinion on the impact of radiation from cell towers on health of citizens.
"There is a need to effectively monitor the effect of radiation from cell towers etc. And the number of inspectors available for the purpose needs to be significantly enhanced by the concerned administrative Ministry," the panel noted.
The Secretary of Department of Science and Technology (DST) informed the committee that based on the report of a committee comprising the ministries of Science and Technology, and Environment and Forest, and the Department of Telecommunication, etc. Set up in 2012, research proposals specific to the country has been called and 79 proposals had been short-listed.
"DST has funded 20 projects. The outcome of those projects will be compiled as soon as they are received. A time bound action programme needs to be finalised. The outcome of the aforesaid project cannot be awaited forever," the committee noted.