New rules to take effect from September 1

Mobile operators on Tuesday said they were compliant with the new emission norms that will kick in on September 1.

Radiation level

Under the new rule, mobile companies have to ensure that radiation level from towers is reduced to one-tenth of existing levels.

Rajan S. Mathews, Director-General, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), said the industry took proactive measures and made a massive transition in its network infrastructure which was redesigned significantly to meet the prescribed norms.

“The telecom industry has always been proactive to adopt and ensure compliance with the international safety standards on electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure limits, upholding public health and environment as its foremost concern,” he said.

Recently, an Inter Ministerial Committee, as a precautionary measure, recommended that the emission levels be lowered to one-tenth of the present norms.

“Despite there being no scientific evidence stating any increased health benefit from the proposed directive, the industry has gone the extra mile to ensure compliance with the same,” Mathews said.

Health effects

He reiterated that considering the scarce spectrum resources available in India compared to the other countries, population density and traffic, it was an extremely difficult task.

COAI said that it will work towards assuaging the concerns that the public have regarding the health effects of EMF emissions from mobile towers and ensure that they are informed of the true scientific facts on the matter and be assured that their safety is being safeguarded with utmost sincerity and priority by the industry.

Earlier, the industry had asked the Government to put off the new norms on grounds that it will impact quality of service.

The operators had said that they would have to reduce the number of cell sites to comply with the new radiation levels.

thomas.thomas@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 21, 2012)
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