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HC directs govt to seek expert opinion on mobile tower radiation risk

  • Published at 08:52 pm March 28th, 2017
  • Last updated at 09:13 pm March 28th, 2017
HC directs govt to seek expert opinion on mobile tower radiation risk
The High Court has directed the government to obtain expert opinion from three international organisations regarding the public health risk caused by radiation from mobile phone towers. The bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Salim issued the directive on Tuesday, asking the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to submit a progress report by April 10. The World Health Organisation (WHO), International Atomic Energy Agency and International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection must all be consulted in the next fortnight. The court will issue further directive on the issue on April 10. Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is going to take steps in accordance with the recommendations made by an expert committee of the ministry that submitted a report on this issue before the court on March 22. The BTRC will also submit its compliance report by April 10.
Also Read- Govt committee finds excessive radiation in BTS
The health ministry committee said in its report that, after running tests following a 2012 directive of the High Court, they had found the emission of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone towers to be excessive. The committee suggested the High Court to direct the BTRC to examine all base transceiver stations (BTS) installed by six mobile operators across the country. It also suggested that the BTRC monitor the base stations regularly so it could take steps to reduce the emission to the level suggested by WHO. It also said the BTRC authorities should prepare a guideline in consultation with Buet experts for installing BTS towers on rooftops of residential buildings. The report was completed on July 30, 2013 by an eight-member expert committee of the ministry complying with a High Court order following a writ petition filed by Bangladesh Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh in 2012. The High Court had asked the government to examine the level of radiation emitted from the BTS towers, and its impact on health and the environment. The report was placed before the High Court on March 22 this year.