16 August 2015
India: Government Portal to Track Radiation Exposure
by Sanjay Singh, FE Bureau, 12 August 2015
The government has raised the fine for violation of norms to R10 lakh per mobile tower per incidence
The communications and IT ministry will soon have a national electromagnetic frequency (EMF) portal that will evaluate the real-time electromagnetic radiation exposure on the ground level across the country.
The government intends to mitigate the ill effects of EMF exposure that has led to the pulling down of base transceiver stations (BTS) or mobile phone towers, resulting in poor network and frequent call drops.
The matter was prominently discussed at the All India Conference of TERM (Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring) Cells held in July, where telecom secretary Rakesh Garg directed the TERM cells to expedite the testing of the national EMF portal, along with concerned telecom service providers and Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) so that the portal is launched at the earliest. The government had decided to launch a national EMF portal early this year but it has been delayed even as beta testing of the portal had been done in Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Mumbai sometime around May-June last year. Government sources said the portal could start sometime in the next two months.
TERM cells have offices in every states and are the ears and eyes of the ministry of of communications, and are meant to enforce laws, monitor and regulate telecom companies and all other activities related to the telecom sector at the local level. TEC, on the other hand, is responsible for drawing up of standards, generic requirements, interface, service and specifications for telecom products, services and networks. The portal will provide all relevant data on EMF along with the location of BTS within a certain locality.
The government has raised the penalty for violation of actual EMF radiation norms from Rs 5 lakh to R10 lakh per BTS per incidence. The total number of mobile BTSs setup at mobile towers in India as on May 31, 2015 was at 9.08 lakh.