1

Bangladesh: High Court Issues Directive to Cut Cell-Phone Tower Radiation



The High Court of Bangladesh issued an 11-point directive to protect health and the environment from mobile phone-tower radiation that includes stopping the installation of towers on residence rooftops, schools, and in populated areas. It also requires eliminating towers with high levels of radiation. There are an estimated 35,000 telecom towers in Bangladesh. -GEG

The High Court (HC) yesterday (Thursday)
issued an 11-point directive to protect public health and environment
from mobile phone tower radiation. An HC bench also directed the
Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to submit a feasibility
study report before it within four months, on the impact of radiation
from mobile-phone towers on people and environment. In a final verdict
on a seven-year-old writ petition, the HC bench, comprising Justice Syed
Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir, came up with the directive.

The bench directed the authorities
concerned not to install any mobile phone tower on rooftops of
residences, schools, colleges, playing fields, populated areas and
heritage areas. Those installed earlier in such areas should be removed.

The HC bench also directed the authorities
concerned to take steps to reduce the radiation of mobile phone towers
by 1 per cent out of 10 per cent.

It also directed the authorities concerned to take steps so that mobile operators do not cross the specific radiation limit.

It asked the authorities concerned to
inform the HC whether there is any restriction on acquisition of land
for installing mobile phone towers.

The bench directed the BTRC to form a
monitoring cell on public health risk caused by radiation from mobile
phone towers. It also asked the authorities concerned to replace all
mobile phone towers with high radiation.

The HC bench also directed the BTRC to make the

verification mandatory for installing mobile phone towers.

It also directed the authorities concerned to take steps for writing the SAR on the mobile phone.

The HC bench said that it would give
further directives in this regard after the report is submitted by the
authorities concerned in line with its orders.

Advocate Manzill Murshid, president of
Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a human rights body, filed
the writ petition seven years ago. It sought court directive to the
government to stop radiation from mobile phone towers.

The HRPB filed the petition as a
public-interest litigation before the HC on October 29, 2012, following a
report broadcast by Ekushey Television on October 18 that year. The
report said equipment in mobile-phone towers emit radiation that is
harmful for the human body.

In response to the petition, the HC on
October 30, 2012, ordered the government to examine the level of
emission from mobile-phone towers, assess its effect on health and
environment and submit two separate reports to it. It also issued a rule
upon government officials concerned to explain why they should not be
directed to stop radiation emission from mobile-phone towers set up
across the country.

Read full article hereā€¦