'Add surprise audits, fire safety checks to mobile tower policy'
Jan 03, 2013 (Hindustan Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Regular audits, seeking the consent of residents of top two floors and a 30-day deadline for removing towers installed on educational institutes are some of the suggestions made by the citizens' groups to the civic body's draft policy on mobile phone tower installation.
The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had invited citizens' recommendations to its policy, drafted on the basis of the telecommunication department's guidelines.
"We have come up with suggestions after studying the draft policy closely. We have also decided to undertake a thorough study on the effect of the radiation emitted by mobile phone towers in our area," said R Balakrishnan, Cuffe Parade Residents' Association.
Hindustan Times has been carrying a series of reports on the suspected health hazards posed by the exposure to the electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation emitted by mobile phone towers, and the civic body's draft policy.
The civic body has also decided to undertake a scientific study to understand the link between cancer and exposure to EMF radiation.
"The housing societies that have mobile towers installed on their buildings should display the radiation level notice in the premises, preferably on its notice board," said anti-radiation campaigner KV Kunjaparambil.
To prevent direct exposure to mobile tower radiation, the civic body's draft policy had restricted the entry to the building's terrace. However, citizen groups have questioned the ban.
"Members use terrace to take walks and exercise. Instead of banning entry, the civic body could make it mandatory to install 30-m high tripod towers on the terrace," said Prakash Munshi, a resident of Malabar Hill.
Fearing a lapse in the fire-fighting measures adopted by the tower operators, the citizens have also demanded a thorough examination of the draft policy by the Mumbai fire brigade to include additional safety provisions.
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