Cell tower woes reach HRC

By Adepu Mahender | THE HANS INDIA |   Feb 23,2018 , 02:52 AM IST

A resident living close to cell tower vacates at Katta Rampur in Karimnagar on Thursday
A resident living close to cell tower vacates at Katta Rampur in Karimnagar on Thursday

Karimnagar: Finally, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) had to step in to resolve the issue of the residents of Katta Rampur locality (27th Division) who have been vociferous for the removal of a cell tower that has been reportedly emitting electromagnetic radiation jeopardizing their health since its installation.

The sorry story of those living in the locales of Gidde Perumandla Swamy temple have come to fore in 2015, when a cell tower was installed on the third floor of M Laxman Yadav’s building in the locality. The locals vehemently opposed the installation of the cell tower in their residential area but in vain with neither the building owner nor the network provider heeding to their appeal.

Since then it was a long fight for the residents, who in the past staged a protest before the Municipal Corporation besides submitting a memorandum to the district administration, also wrote letters to the Pollution Control Board, TRAI, Municipal Corporation, District Welfare Officer of the WCD&SC recently. The locals contend that the cell tower is not only emitting radiation but also causing noise pollution with which they have to 
live with.

Recently, the District Welfare Officer of the WCD&SC M Sharada wrote a letter to the Municipal authorities to take necessary action to remove the cell tower. She said that there is an Anganwadi Centre in the close vicinity of the cell tower and the radiation emitted from it likely to cause health hazards to children aged between 6 months and six years, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

After running from pillar to post and not much to avail from the local authorities, the residents, a fortnight ago, lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC). Responding to it, the HRC sent notices to the District Collector and the Municipal Commissioner to submit a report by April 24.

Speaking to The Hans India, the Municipal Commissioner K Shashanka said: “The power vested with the municipal authority in regard with the cell towers is very limited. However, the authorities are trying to resolve the issue. Whether the radiation emitting from the cell tower is beyond permissible limits, the TRAI has a portal launched to clear the doubts about radiation from mobile phone towers to allow people to check electromagnetic radiation compliance status of mobile towers.” 

He said that an Assistant City Planner (Town Planning) has been entrusted with the responsibility of gathering details of the issue so that they could submit a report to the HRC. Vacating the house on Thursday, homemaker Jyotsna said: “With both my children falling sick frequently due to radiation and noise pollution, we were forced to move to other location in the city.” A few days ago, family of a pregnant woman vacated the colony fearing adverse effects of radiation.