Kalyan Civil Court strikes down application to restrain construction of mobile tower

Mumbai, 27 November 2012: Ruling that the plaintiffs had not made out a prima facie case to restrain the construction of a mobile tower due to violation of laws or fears of electromagnetic radiation, the Kalyan Civil Court, Mumbai, today observed that in the absence of any evidence that the erection of the mobile tower and base centre is illegal or violates any law or rules, the plaintiffs’ plea for a stay on construction was being turned down. On the basis of the WHO report and the committee of experts constituted as per the writ petition state, the Court observed that there is no substance in the argument that Electro Magnetic emissions are hazardous to human life.

It is pertinent to note that recently the Government of India has adopted most stringent safety guidelines for EMF exposure which is 1/10th of the ICNIRP standards (which is considered to be the safest in the world with over 90% of the countries having adopted the ICNIRP guidelines). At the same time, the Government has also acknowledged that there is no conclusive evidence that can link EMF emissions from Mobile base stations to health hazards and that the lowering of exposure limits is a precautionary measure.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) welcomed the court’s order and stated that it vindicates the industry’s long-standing position that mobile towers and base stations in India are fully compliant with the safety, environmental and health norms prescribed by the Government of India and puts to rest many concerns raised by sections of the media on the issue recently. COAI shared that the industry has voluntarily undertaken proactive measures to allay the concerns of citizens. The telecom industry has undergone a massive transition in its network infrastructure, which was redesigned significantly to meet prescribed norms. Considering the scarce spectrum resources available in India compared to other countries, population density and traffic, it was an extremely difficult task in itself.

Mr. Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, commented, “The industry has always been compliant with norms related to exposure limits and will continue to work actively along with the Department of Telecom to ensure that compliance is maintained in this area. We are hopeful that our partnership with the government, with civic bodies and citizens will continue to assuage the concerns that the public have regarding the health effects of EMF emissions from mobile towers and ensure that they are informed of the true scientific facts on the matter and be assured that their safety is being safeguarded with utmost sincerity and priority by the industry.”

About COAI:

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) was constituted in 1995 as a registered, non-governmental society dedicated to the advancement of communication, particularly modern communication through Cellular Mobile Telephone Services. With a vision to establish and sustain a world-class cellular infrastructure and facilitate affordable mobile communication services in India, COAI's main objectives are to protect the common & collective interests of its members. (http://www.coai.in/).

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