Thursday, January 21, 2010

Madras High Court restrains mobile phone companies

HC restrains mobile phone companies

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday restrained three private mobile phone operators from erecting a common cell phone tower at Pullai, a hamlet in Thiruvattar panchayat union of Kanyakumari district.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Prabha Sridevan and Justice B. Rajendran granted the interim injunction following a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Shylaja Kumari, councillor of the panchayat union.

The petitioner contended that erecting cell phone towers amidst residential areas would put the inhabitants in a precarious and perilous situation endangering their lives due to emission of electro magnetic radiation.

She alleged that the private companies were installing towers with a radiation level of 7620 microwatt, as against the specified standard level of 600 microwatt, to reduce the expenditure incurred on installing more number of towers.

A study had revealed that newly developed cancer cases were three times higher among those who lived for nearly ten years at a distance of up to 400 metre from a cellular transmitter site compared to those living elsewhere.

"Further, the study shows that radiation in the inner area (within 400 metre) is 100 times higher compared to the outer area mainly due to additional emissions from the secondary lobes of the transmitter," the petitioner claimed.

"The cell phone towers also cause noise pollution as the air conditioners and high voltage diesel generators make high decibel noise round the clock. It often results in hearing impairment as well as restless mind," she added.

Her counsel Isaac Mohanlal said that many people had rented out their lands as well as terrace for erecting cell phone towers, without realising its adverse effects, just because the companies were paying them a handsome monetary compensation.

"There are no guidelines on erection of telecommunication towers. But the authorities must bear in mind the philosophy of sustainable development and the Constitutional right to life, health and pollution free environment," he said.

Courtesy_

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