The department of telecommunication in collaboration with the Goa State Pollution Control Board is organising a special awareness programme in South Goa villages on Sunday at 10 am to spread awareness among the public and allay “undue apprehensions” in their minds over the adverse impact of radiation from mobile phone towers on their health.
The decision came after the telecommunication department found the network connectivity in South Goa to be worse than that in North Goa.
The assessment was made in the light of the upcoming BRICS Summit that will be held in Goa in October.
There is a proposal pending before the GSPCB for installation of 61 mobile towers in South Goa to improve the Internet connectivity. However, panchayats have been objecting to setting up of the towers expressing their concerns on health.
Last year the GSPCB had taken a decision that telecom operators would have to obtain a provisional no-objection certificate from local bodies to set up a mobile phone tower on a building before seeking consent to put up the same from the board.
“The telecom, enforcement, resource and monitoring unit of the department of telecommunication and GSPCB officials will be deputed to spread public awareness to allay undue apprehensions in respect of possible health effects from electromagnetic field radiations. The programme will be held on Sunday,” said an official source from the GSPCB.
The awareness programme will be organised at gram sabha meetings to be held on Sunday in 18 village panchayats of Chicalim, Cana-Benaulim, Sancoale, Carmona, Cavelossim, Colva, Orlim, Betalbatim, Bogmalo, Nagoa, Varca, Navelim, Velsao, Assolna, Velim, Majorda-Utorda-Calata, Arrosim-Ircosim and Verna.
“The radiation from mobile towers is non-ionising and cannot break the DNA unlike X-ray, ultraviolet and gamma rays. We have to allay the fears from the minds of the people. We have conducted various studies and the TRAI has concluded recently that so far there is no such proof of health hazard from EMF radiation,” said an official from science and technology department.
The TERM cell monitors, regulates and manages each and every tower in the state for electromagnetic radiation compliance following complaints from the public. The state already has 1100 mobile towers with 1G, 2G and 3G technology, and now 4G technology mobile towers are coming up across the state.
As per the guidelines framed by the state government for installation of mobile-based station towers, the upper limit for radiations from towers should not cross 450 milliwatts/per square metre (mw/m2).
However, there is not a single monitoring report carried out by the TERM cell of that shows the tower has exceeded the limit.
Recently the director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India Rajan Mathews was quoted saying that though the mobile connectivity has been increasing and requires more towers, locals in the areas of Porvorim, Siolim, Calangute, Baga, Arpora, Santa Cruz, Merces, Dramapur, Varca, Borda, Benaulim, Sancoale, Nagoa, Loutolim and Colva have been opposing erection of towers.
“Call drops in these areas have been found to be widespread,” he said.