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‘Mandatory provisions for mobile towers'

New Delhi: Concerned over the health hazards likely to be caused by cell phone towers, the National Green Tribunal has restrained several telecom firms from setting them up without following mandatory provisions of law and taking permission from the competent authority.
    
"Considering gravity of allegations levelled and health hazard likely to be caused, we direct that no construction of cell phone communication towers shall be made without following mandatory provisions of law and necessary permission from competent authority," a NGT bench of Acting Chairperson Justice A S Naidu and expert member P C Mishra has said.
    
Issuing notice to the Ministry of Communications and IT, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Health, Securities and Exchange Board of India and telecom firms -- Bharti Infratel Ltd, Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, Tata, Reliance and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, the NGT has sought their response by the next date of hearing on December 20.
    
The tribunal's order came on the plea of Delhi resident Arvind Gupta, who has sought directions to the Centre and the telecom firms for implementing guidelines and regulations issued by MoEF regarding installation of cell phone towers nationwide.
    
In his application, filed through advocate B P Tripathy, Gupta has alleged that MoEF guidelines have not been followed and implemented by Department of Telecommunications while allowing installation of towers throughout the country.
    
He has also alleged that "norms are flouted brazenly by all companies involved with installation of mobile towers, having complete disregard and concern for environmental protection".
    
He has alleged that radiations emitted by towers not only adversely affect flora and fauna, but can also cause cancer in human beings.

(Agencies)

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