Cellular Association welcomes central advisory to state governments on mobile towers

NEW DELHI: The Cellular Operators Association of India has welcomed the advisory sent by the Department of Telecommunications to state governments on mobile tower guidelines, saying the norms clearly segregate emission aspects from structural requirements.

The DoT has asked the states to refrain from sealing mobile towers or disconnecting power supply to them without the permission of its unit, TERM cell, on account of radiation related issues.

COAI director general Rajan S Mathews said in a statement: "We are working closely with the DoT to ensure that all safety norms are made universal and fears of the public about the telecom towers are removed."

He said the positive aspect of the guidelines is a clear distinction and segregation of emission (EMF) aspects from structural requirements. "The new guidelines have clearly stated that EMF aspects, compliance of RF exposure field emissions, issues related to SACFA, licence etc are to be handled solely by the DoT's TERM cells," it added.

COAI said the guidelines encourage a nominal one-time fee, single window clearance, and electricity connection on priority for mobile towers.

"These are welcome steps for the industry which has been contending with a complex system and procedural delays which are hindrance towards the much required development of telecom infrastructure in the country," it added.

India has already implemented stricter radiation norms than are followed by other countries, DoT officials said.

Industry representatives maintain that due to the lack of awareness on radiation, people object to the installation or working of mobile towers.

Around 5,000 towers in Delhi and Mumbai were termed illegal by local authorities and shut down.

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