The Government today informed that as per the self certifications submitted by telecom service providers, and sample checks conducted by the DoT, the existing level of electromagnetic radiation from mobile towers in the country is within the prescribed limits.
Further, based on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on radiation, norms for exposure limit for the Radio Frequency Field (Base Station Emissions) has been reduced to 1/10th of the existing limits prescribed by ICNIRP. Effective date of these directions, which was initially 1st April 2012, has been extended to 01.09.2012.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2006 Fact Sheet on Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and Public Health had stated that “International exposure guidelines have been developed to provide protection against established effects from RF fields by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP, 1998) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE, 2005). It further said, national authorities should adopt international standards to protect their citizens against adverse levels of RF fields. They should restrict access to areas where exposure limits may be exceeded’. Based on the WHO recommendation, different countries have adopted their own EMF norms”.
Department of Telecommunications has adopted the International EMF norms in the year 2008 in respect of mobile towers prescribed by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and licenses were accordingly amended. Most of the countries have adopted ICNIRP norms; however, some of the countries have adopted stricter norms.
Accordingly, all the Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (CMTS)/ Unified Access Service (UAS) licensees have been directed for compliance of the reference limits/ levels prescribed by ICNIRP by way of self certification of their Base Transmitting Station (BTS) for meeting the EMF radiations norms. At present, for 900 MHz, permissible Power Density is 4.5 Watt per Square meter, whereas for 1800 MHz permissible Power Density is 9 Watt per Square meter.
As per the existing policy for installation of towers, Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) wing of DoT issues siting clearance for installation of mobile towers for each and every site from the point of view of interference with other wireless users, aviation hazards and obstruction to any other existing microwave links.However, siting clearances of DoT are issued without prejudice to other applicable bylaws, rule and regulations of local bodies such as municipal corporation, Gram Panchayat etc. Accordingly, before installation of tower, the telecom service providers have to obtain necessary clearances from concerned local authorities/ State Government bodies also. Various local bodies/State Government have formulated their own policy regarding grant of such permissions for installation of mobile towers.
Further, based on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, DoT has constituted an internal committee to formulate uniform guidelines at national level to enforce restrictions on establishment / setting up of BTS towers.
This information was provided by Sh Milind Deora, Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology in Rajya Sabha today.