DoT panel for doubling penalty on towers for EMF limit breach
Sep 19 2013 , New Delhi
The department currently imposes a penalty of Rs 5 lakh.
In September last year, the government had lowered the permissible radiation limit for mobile towers to 0.45 watts per sq metre -- which is one-tenth of the ICNIRP guidelines -- for Indian operators.
According to sources, the committee took note of Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's instructions which called for stronger deterrent against any laxity on part of mobile operators when it comes to health of general public.
"Necessary instruction regarding increase in penalty from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for non-compliant cases to EMF radiation limit should be issued by the concerned cell of DoT," the committee is believed to have said.
The panel, however, recommended, lowering the penalty on operators for delays in submitting documents certifying EMF radiation levels of their transmission towers, from the current amount of Rs 5 lakh.
It recommended the operators should be permitted to submit self-certificates even with some delays.
Sources said the committee has proposed a penalty of Rs 5,000 for delay of up to 15 days, Rs 20,000 for delay beyond 15 days to 30 days and Rs 50,000 for delay beyond 30 days.
According to industry bodies, maximum percentage of penalties imposed on towers is due to procedural issues such as delay in submission of reports.
GSM body COAI had earlier said about 99 per cent of the penalty imposed on towers for violating norms is due to procedural issues such as delay in submission of reports.
"Of the total penalty imposed, 99 per cent of them are for procedural issues like delay in submission of certificates, applications, etc," COAI Associate Director Vikram Tiwathia had said.