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Cell communication towers must be quake-proof: DoT
Published on 10 Mar. 2010 12:20 AM IST
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In a bid to ensure that essential services like telecommunication do not break down during natural calamities, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has brought out a draft policy on mobile towers and has asked cellular service providers to adhere to certain norms while constructing new towers. Saying that the towers would have to be earthquake resistant, DoT has specified that the design, fabrication and use of material should conform to the standards set by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), stated Times news. Since there was large-scale damage when the cyclone struck Orissa and even during the Bhuj earthquake, the draft telecom policy paper states that there is an urgent need to ensure that telecommunication services are not disrupted in such disasters. “The towers are erected in residential areas and on lease-rented buildings that are spread all over towns and cities,’’ a senior DoT official told TOI, on the condition of anonymity. “The buildings over which the towers are erected are not analysed for the associated risk of earthquake and appropriate retrofit measures are not taken,’’ the official added, alleging that “in some cases the towers are constructed even without taking requisite permission from the concerned authority.’’ Addressing health issues, the draft tower policy has asked telcos to follow international standards to cut down on radiation. In a bid to check radiation from mobile towers, telcos have been asked to provide certification of antenna emission levels. “Cellular service providers shall ensure compliance of the International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection and other environmental standards,’’ notes the draft tower policy. It has also outlined ways to encourage alternate sources of energy for telecom towers to reduce pollution.

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