A complaint handling system for electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from mobile towers has been made operational.

Consumers can lodge a complaint by dialling 99695 55000. The work of testing the site for radiation has been assigned to TCIL at present. The complainant can get the site tested by paying Rs 4,000 to TCIL. In case the site is found to be non-compliant with respect to the desired norms on testing, no fee would be charged from the complainant. The test results will be made available on the Web site of DoT and will also be sent to the complainant through email and SMS.

TCIL will initially deploy five teams for this purpose that is expected to handle 15 complaints per day. The EMF exposure limit has been lowered to one-tenth of the exposure limit standards prevalent in 90 per cent of the countries with effect from September 1. India now has one of the most stringent EMF exposure norms in the world as Specific Absorption Rate value standards for mobile handsets also have been revised.

Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) Cells of DoT have been conducting audit on the self-certification furnished by the service providers. TERM Cell carries out test audit covering up to 10 per cent of the base transceiver station (BTS) sites on random basis. For non-compliance with EMF radiation standards, a penalty of Rs 5 lakh is liable to be levied per BTS for each operator. The helpline facility for complaint booking will be available from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on working days. The online facility will also be available on DoT Web site www.dot.gov.in through a link “Public Grievance – EMF Radiation”.

thomas.thomas@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 4, 2012)
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