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Ravishankar Prasad
There is absolutely no truth or scientific basis that radiation from mobile towers and handsets has adverse impact on humans and other living beings, Telecom Minister Ravishankar Prasad said on Wednesday.

There is absolutely no truth or scientific basis that radiation from mobile towers and handsets has adverse impact on humans and other living beings, Telecom Minister Ravishankar Prasad said on Wednesday.

“There are rumours that people will suffer from cancer and other diseases. It is completely baseless and unfounded.

There is no impact on humans. There is no empirical evidence of any danger to human life because of all this. Even World Health Organisation after 30 years of studies has revealed there are no such threats,” he said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

Prasad said six high courts in the country, in separate rulings, have made it clear that there is no radiation from mobile towers that impact human health.

“World over there is no impact. But I want to ask why are such issues raised in India only? No one has raised such issues in the US, the UK, China or Korea where mobile towers are installed in large numbers.

“If there is no mobile tower, there will be more call drops. Can we afford to do that? Can we live without mobile phones? If you want that not to happen, please allow mobile towers to come up in your areas,” he said, adding “let us be pragmatic. In today’s world, can we do without a mobile phone?”

The Minister said if people have apprehensions about radiation, it can come while undergoing X-Rays or when people are subjected to screening by metal detectors.

When BJP’s Rama Devi wanted to know whether any scientific research has been conducted on the impact on birds from mobile towers, Prasad said there is no basis for such apprehensions.

A committee set up by the Allahabad High Court made it clear that there was no mobile tower radiation impact on human and animals. Several studies on the impact of radiation from mobile towers and handsets have been conducted in different countries, under the aegis of World Health Organisation.

WHO had referred to about 25,000 articles published around the world over past 30 years and based on an in-depth review of scientific literature, has stated ‘despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done scientific knowledge in this area is now extensive than for most chemicals’ and concluded that ‘current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields’.

The Minister, however, said during audit carried out by Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cells, 108 number of Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) have been found exceeding the prescribed EMF radiation limits in the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and upto February 29, 2016.

For all these non-compliant BTSs, TERM cells have imposed applicable financial penalty amounting to Rs 6.60 crore of defaulting Total Solar Pyranometers as per the prescribed DoT guidelines, he said, adding one BTS in Haryana LSA was shut down.