New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot stated that the Centre is actively considering to implement stricter norms to check radiation from mobile handsets and towers.
Mr Pilot said that while telecom is a huge success story in India, any possible health related effects of radiation emitted by mobile phones and towers are to be reflected and ensured in the guidelines.
The final guidelines would take into account the best global benchmarks and scientific evidence on the subject.
He pointed out that the Central government has been sensitive to the issue of possible health-related effects of radiation emissions from mobile towers and phones.
Mr Pilot disclosed in a statement that he had conducted consultations on the subject with multiple stakeholders both in the Government and the private sector in July and August, 2010.
As a follow-up, the Department of Telecommunications set-up an Inter-Ministerial Group in August 2010 to evaluate the evidence, revisit radiation guidelines for mobile towers and adopt guidelines for radiation emission by cell phones. This group had experts from Department of Telecom, Ministry of Health, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Environment and Forests and Indian Council of Medical Research.
The Inter-Ministerial Group has submitted its report, after placing it on the internet for public comments and suggestions.
Salient recommendations of the expert group for mobile handsets are revising the limit of 2 watts per kilogram averaged over 10 grams tissue to 1.6 watts per kilogram averaged over 1 gram tissue and mandatory declaration of radiation level on each mobile handset.
For the mobile towers, the Inter-Ministerial Group recommended that radiation norms which are ten times as strict as the existing ones- from f/200 watts per square meter to f/2000 watts per square meter have been recommended.
Earlier, necessary amendments were carried out in the Access Service Licenses in 2008 mandating self-certification radiation levels of towers to ensure compliance with WHO-endorsed guidelines of International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) adopted by India Each instance of non-compliance carries a penalty of Rs 5 lakh.
Mr Pilot pointed out that till March 31, 2011, 5,88,645 out of 6,05,859 base stations had been self-certified. The report is under consideration of Department of Telecom.(INN)