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NGO threat to raze hazard cell towers

Angry with East Singhbhum’s inaction against mobile towers on school campuses and near hospitals, a city NGO has issued a 15-day deadline to dismantle the structures .

Jharkhand Human Rights Conference on Monday vowed to start its campaign by removing the towers at Loyola School in Northern Town, Jusco School in Kadma and government-aided Thakkar Bappa High School in Dhatkidih, if the authorities failed to meet the deadline.

In September this year, the Supreme Court had come down heavily on mobile towers near residential areas, hospitals and schools because of radiation hazards. Dismissing a petition filed by Cellular Operators Association of India, it had upheld Rajasthan High Court’s interim order to remove all offending towers.

The Centre’s department of telecommunication too had revised radiation limit or electromagnetic frequency to 450 milliwatts per square metre, which is 10 per cent of the current levels, and prohibited base transciever stations (BTS) near schools and hospitals.

But, NGO officials claim at least a dozen schools in and around the city have BTS on campus, while two healthcare hubs have the towers in the vicinity. “Radiations can cause memory loss and damage the nervous system. We have intimated deputy commissioner Himani Pande that after 15 days, we will bring down the towers ourselves,” said NGO chief Manoj Mishra.

Loyola School principal Father Victor Misquith said they would act only if the district administration told them to do so. Additional deputy commissioner Ganesh Kumar said they did not have the power to order cellular operators to remove BTS without a directive from the government.