The Indian environment ministry feels that radiations emitted by mobile towers has ill effect on wildlife , especially birds and bees, and has asked the department of telecommunications (DoT) not to permit such structures within 1 km each other. In an advisory, the ministry has said that there is an “urgent need” to refine the Indian standard on safe limits of exposure to electro-magnetic radiations(EMR).
Till it is reformed, “ a precautionary approach shall be preferred to minimize the exposure levels and adopt stricter norms possible, without compromising on optimum performance of the networks ,” it said. Accordingly , it asked the DoT to ensure that new mobile towers are not constructed within one km of existing ones “so as not to obstruct the path of flight for birds , and also not to increase the combined radiations from all the towers” in an area . The ministry asked that the DoT make the locations and frequencies of cell phone towers and other towers emitting EMR , available to the public . “This can be at a city/ district/village level. Location wise GIS mapping of all cell phone towers should be maintained which would , inter alia, help in monitoring the population of birds and bees in and around the mobile towers and also in and/or around wildlife protection areas ,” the advisory said.
The advisory has been issued on the basis of an expert committee study on the possible impacts of communication towers on wildlife and bees . The panel was constituted by the environment ministry in 2010.
____________By- Rajat Kumar Naik
Live in Bargarh, Odisha ,India
School-Kendriya Vidyalaya ,Bargarh