With the Government’s new norms for mobile towers coming into effect from Saturday, India will be among the few countries in the world to have stringent Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) Radiation Standards, established in the interest of public health.

The US, New Zealand and Canada have already adopted similar norms. Indian standards are now 10 times more stringent than over 90 per cent of the countries, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said here on Friday.

The EMF exposure limit for Base Station Emissions has been lowered to one tenth of the existing level, he said.

“Health of the people should not be compromised at any cost. Technology must be embraced but ultimately public health should not be compromised,” he said.

Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) Cells under the Department of Telecom (DoT) will conduct random audits of the self certification furnished by the service providers.

TERM, which also monitors illegal telecom operations, will carry out test audit of 10 per cent of the base transceiver station (BTS) site on a random basis and in all cases where there is a public complaint, the Minister said.

Another agency under the DoT, the Telecom Engineering Centre has revised the test procedure for measurement of Electromagnetic Frequency in accordance with new standards.

A penalty of Rs 5 lakh is liable to be levied per BTS per service provider on non-compliance with the EMF standards, Sibal said.

According to DoT, 95 per cent of the towers are already complying with the new emission norms.

On handsets, the Minister said all new designs of mobile handsets shall comply with the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values of 1.6 watt/kg averaged over 1 gram of human tissue from Saturday.

The mobile handsets with existing designs which are compliant with 2W/kg averaged over 10 gram of human tissue, will continue to co-exist up to August 2013. Mobile handsets with revised SAR value of 1.6 watt/kg would be permitted to be manufactured or imported in India from September 2013.

ronendrasingh.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 31, 2012)
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