I was sent this cutting (which dates from February) this morning by the Resource Centre for Development Alternatives in Pakistan – from the Tribune News service:
Mobile towers may soon be phased out of Chandigarh’s residential areas. Dealing with the towering problem, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in a significant development, today made it clear that it wanted the mobile towers to be shifted out of residential areas in phases.
As a bunch of petition seeking the removal of mobile towers from city’s residential areas came up for hearing this afternoon, the Bench headed by Justice MM Kumar directed the Chandigarh Administration to formulate a policy for their shifting in a phased manner.
In what could ring in difficulties for mobile service providers, the Bench also set a two-month deadline for the Chandigarh Administration to come up with the policy. The development was significant as there were not less than 18 towers in Chandigarh and its villages.
Expressing concern over the effects of radiation, the High Court ruled that it was the duty of the government and mobile companies to inform residents about the harmful effects.
The High Court had only recently ruled the government would be duty bound to inform the public living where a mobile tower was to be erected about the “amount of radiation it will emit” and its harmful effects thereof on the health of people.
The information would have to be supplied in the shape of a public notice before the mobile tower was erected. The HC also directed the companies installing mobile towers to do the same.
Making it clear that “there is no absolute right to carry on any business, the Bench ruled that it (business) is subject to reasonable restriction and regulation”, and highlighted the damage being caused due to the radiation.
“It will be the duty of the local authorities to issue a public notice for information of all concerned where the permission for erection of a tower is being considered or granted to apprise the public as to what amount of radiation it will emit and the effect thereof on the health of the people living in the area,” read the judgement.
The High Court held, “The mobile emit signals in the form of radio waves. It is feared that radio waves can cause changes to the cells in our brain. If the DNA in the brain cells gets damaged, they may become cancerous and cause brain tumours. It is also feared that radio waves can alter chemical and electrical reactions in our brain, changing, in effect, the way the brain cells communicate. Studies conducted have revealed that sparrows have declined in the most contaminated electromagnetic fields”.