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Mobile Tower at Namaha Hospital Kandivali : Risk to Patients

Mumbai: Inspite of various orders and guidelines the hospitals are endangering life of patients by installing mobile towers. The Namaha Hospital SV Road , Kandivali West has installed mobile tower in complex to get more money.MCGM officials are not penalising them for this violations.

Guidelines for Installation of the Mobile Towers

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is in the process of finalizing tougher norms for radiation emitting from cell towers. India currently follows the International Commission for Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNRIP), a German independent body’s guidelines set for exposure to radiation.
Mobile phone towers installed on top of buildings are a definite threat to human health. According to experts, radiation from mobile phones used for long durations is higher than those from mobile towers.
The advantage of a telecom tower is that a single installed unit can be home to multiple telecom providers. Meanwhile, the same telecom tower can be used by multiple companies for distributing signals. The government framed a policy in 2006 in which guidelines, rules and regulations were framed for installing a tower. Under the guidelines, mobile service providers have to take clearances from the government before installing a tower.

Important Guidelines for Installation of Mobile Towers

As per the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and rules made under it, all mobile phone service providers are hereby directed to follow the following guidelines strictly at the time of installation of the mobile towers.
  • Installation of Base station antennas within the premises of schools and hospitals must be avoided because children and patients are more susceptible to electromagnetic radiations.
  • Installation of Base Station Antennas in narrow lanes should be avoided in order to reduce the risks caused by any earthquake or wind related disaster.
  • The Base Station Antennas should be at least 3 m away from nearby buildings and antennas should not directly face a building. Further, the lower end of the antenna should be at least 3 meters above the ground or roof.
  • In case of multiple transmitter sites at a specific locality, sharing of a common tower infrastructure should be explored, as far as possible, which can be coordinated through a nodal agency.
  • Access to Base Station Antenna sites should be prohibited for general public by suitable means such as wire fencing, locking of the door to the roof etc. Access to tower sites, even for maintenance personnel, should be for a minimum period as far as possible.
  • Sign boards/warning signs are to be provided at Base Station Antenna sites which should be clearly visible and identifiable. A warning sign should be placed at the entrance of such zones.
  • The “Warning Sign” should discourage longer stay in the zone, even for the maintenance personnel. The sign board may contain the following text :
  1. Danger ! RF radiations, Do not enter !
  2. Restricted Area.
  • The operators and maintenance personnel, who are dealing with radio frequency devices, specially with Base Station Antennas installed on towers and at any other outdoor sites, should be protected from electromagnetic radiations. It is required that operators and maintenance personnel should be educated for possible hazards from these devices.
All local authorities are also requested that before giving any permission for installation of mobile towers, aforementioned guidelines should be considered.

Location of Tower

As per the guidelines framed in 2006, rules and regulations have been framed for installing a tower. No tower should be installed within 100 meter radius of hospitals and educational institutes. But these are not followed as many towers are seen without taking care of the guidelines. With regards to the location of towers, cellular operators shall avoid residential areas for erection of the same.
  • First preference shall be given to the location of towers in forest areas.
  • Second preference shall be given to the location of tower in the open or public areas away from residential locations.
  • Where it is not possible to avoid  the location of the tower in residential area, the same shall not be located in open spaces or parks, with prior consent of the owners of adjoining residential houses.
  • Erection of towers shall not be allowed within a radius of 100 meters from residential buildings, schools and hospitals.

Permissions or Documents Required

  • Structural safety certificate from designated institute: This is  an important certificate for installation of towers in buildings if the tower is installed on the building of a school.
  • Consent from authority: Mobile phone operators and building owners have to get the consent of the municipality or the respective authority. Ensure that the school or building owner has obtained required permission from the concerned authority to set up the tower.
  • Indemnity Bond: This is is required from the owner or service provider for the installation of the tower. Indemnity Bond is to take care of any loss or injury due to any accident caused by the tower.
In cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad & Bangalore, the civic body has launched a drive to remove the illegal cell phone towers in these cities. The civic body has observed that housing societies are giving permissions to service providers to erect towers for a rent. Before erecting such towers, it is necessary to check the structural stability of the building according to the Development Control (DC) rules.


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