Hyderabad: Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma said the government was approaching the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for improving cell phone services in remote areas of the state, especially extremists' affected areas. Delivering the inaugural address at an awareness programme on emission of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) from cell towers organised by DoT, the CS said that cell towers were absolutely safe.
DoT deputy director general (CS) Dr. R.M. Chaturvedi said that after holding about 25,000 studies in 30 years, the WHO had arrived at the conclusion that scientific knowledge in this area was now more extensive than for most chemicals. “The WHO involved more than 50 national authorities and eight international organisations in the EMF project since 1996. They have been reviewing scientific information to provide scientifically sound answers to public concerns about the hazards of low-level EMF,” he said.
Mr Chaturvedi said that as per international norms an EMF of 10 watts per square meter was allowed from cell towers. “But, in India, we are using only 1 watt per square meter. We shall hold the testing at cell towers from Thursday to create awareness among the public,” he said. Explaining about the hazards of EMF, he said, “There is no harm from the frequencies released by cell towers. If the atmosphere temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius, it will have a little impact and if it increases to 50 degrees Celsius, public feel uncomfortable,” he said.
DoT DDG-TERM Shivendra Bhatnagar said a penalty of Rs 10 lakh per incidence was imposed in case of any cell tower violating EMF norms. “If violation persists, sites and towers can also be closed down,” he said. DoT DDG-TERM G. Gowri Shankar, DoT director M. Chandramoli, KREST foundation chairman Dr. Kakarla Subba Rao, IT expert Dr. T. Hanuman Chowdary, doctors and experts also took part in the programme.