The Supreme Court ordered Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to shut down a mobile phone tower in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior after a man claimed he was afflicted with cancer from being exposed to the tower’s electromagnetic radiation, The Times of India reported on Wednesday. The apex court directed BSNL to deactivate the tower in the next seven days.
This is the first time a mobile tower has been shut down after an individual has complained about its allegedly harmful radiation.
The petitioner, Harish Chand Tiwari, had moved the Supreme Court in March 2016, claiming that the illegally-installed BSNL tower had exposed him to harmful radiation that led to him having Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The 42-year-old, who works as a domestic help in Dal Bazar area of the district, had said the tower was installed on a neighbour’s rooftop in 2002.
While activists have warned of the harmful effects of radiation from cell towers, the Cellular Operators Association of India and Union government have denied these possible implications. The Department of Telecom, citing a World Health Organisation report, had said that there was no scientific evidence to prove the harmful effects of radiation from cell towers. “Current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields,” DoT had said in October last year.