The Delhi High Court has taken a step towards reducing the number of mobile phone towers in residential buildings. A public interest litigation has been issued to the Delhi government to bar the installation of mobile phone towers on residential buildings. This move has been made in the light of apprehensions that radiations from these towers could be carcinogenic. A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also issued notice to the health ministry and the department of telecommunications. They also sought their response by Aug 9, the next date of hearing. The petition by A.S. Jain said that mobile phone towers should not be installed on residential buildings and at public places as recommended by the report of an inter-ministerial committee headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The bench asked the central government to file the panel’s reports and its suggestions on the issue. Jain’s advocate Sugriv Dubey submitted before the court that people were being misled as he was not getting information on radiation from the mobile telephone towers. “The common man is being kept in dark and the effects of mobile towers are not being brought to the knowledge of the residents of the locality where the towers have been installed, and hence large number of persons are being affected with diseases like cancer and other disease,” said the petition.
Radiation from mobile phone towers causes glioma, a type of brain cancer, as reported by the committee before the World Health Organisation, submitted Dubey. “The international agency for research on cancer has also established that the mobile phone towers are very powerful towers causing different diseases to the persons residing within 50 metres of the mobile towers.” The petition also submitted: “The radiation values and norms in other countries are more stringent and the exposure allowed is much lower but in our country there is no specific rules and no norms for residential areas, schools, offices, hospitals and playgrounds have been laid down to stop radiation exposure.”