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COAI welcomes the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s ruling on mobile towers
TT Correspondent |  |  05 Dec 2015

Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI), on Friday welcomed the decision of the Honorable Himachal Pradesh High Court debunking fears around mobile tower radiation, by dismissing multiple petitions filed in the Court against the setting up of mobile towers citing health hazards.

The two-judge bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmed Ali and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, which dismissed the petitions after referring to similar judgements and research studies said there was no evidence to connect emissions from mobile towers to human health. “It is evident from the aforesaid reports that the exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) do not have any notable impact on the health of human beings. Evidently, the studies conducted till date by the two premier organizations i.e. WHO and SCENIHR go to indicate that despite a large number of studies being carried out in the last two decades to assess the potential health risk on account of emission of EMF, no major adverse health effect has been noticed.” the 40-page ruling states.

COAI has been talking about the myths created around mobile tower emissions and has always stood by the safety standards adopted in India, which are ten times more stringent than international norms observed even by developed countries like the US and the UK.

“We welcome the judgment of the Hon’ble High Court. We believe that this landmark order will debunk several myths propagated by certain groups. The Court’s observations are an endorsement of all that COAI has been saying all along regarding misconceptions around mobile tower emissions and should surely be looked at as a guiding principle by all State Governments in allowing operators to set up mobile towers to tackle the problem of call drops,” said Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, COAI.

Delivering the judgment, the Himachal Pradesh High Court referred to previous rulings by other High Courts, as well as findings by different committees that were constituted to look into the issue of radiation.

“In a writ petition filed in the Allahabad High Court, a direction was given to the Government of India to constitute a committee of experts to submit a report so that the Government may take necessary precautions while granting permission for establishment of the mobile towers. After considering the report of the Committee, the DoT has issued an Office Memorandum on 27.2.2014 stating that the presently prescribed limits for the EMF radiation from the base stations in India are one tenth of the internationally prescribed limits and that the same were adequate and need no further change at that stage,” the Hon’ble Court said, alluding to the Allahabad HC order of 2014.

In another reference, the Court talked about a Kerala High Court order of 2007, which said surveys conducted close to base stations found people exposed to extremely low intensity RF fields that were unlikely to pose any risk to health.

“We have already found that RF exposures from Mobile Base Stations are much less than from radio, FM radio and television transmissions and that the consensus of scientific community is that the radiation from Mobile Phone Base Stations is far too low to produce health hazards if people are kept away from direct access to the antenna and the overall evidence indicates that they are unlikely to pose a risk to health,” it quoted from the ruling.

The judgment also mentions that radiation in itself is nothing new and has been there since life began on earth three-and-a-half billion years ago. “Radiation is all around us and we are all actually submerged in naturally occurring ionizing radiation reaching us from the outer space, even from the radioactive elements and materials around us. Sunshine in itself is a familiar form of radiation,” the judgment said.

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05 Dec 2015(IST)  
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