"We are disappointed by the order and will determine the industry's future course of action on the matter once we have the formal order and have studied all the details closely. The industry has always been compliant with norms related to exposure limits and will continue to work actively along with the Government of India to ensure that compliance is maintained,” said Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI.
"The industry will determine the future course of action following a detailed study of the High Court order which is awaited. While we remain sensitive to the concerns of citizens and our customers, we reiterate here that the EMF emission safety norms prescribed by the Government of India cover all citizens, including children and patients. We are fully compliant with these safety norms and will continue to work with the Government of India to ensure continued compliance with the pertinent laws and safety norms set out for the industry," Mathews added.
It is pertinent to highlight that the Government of India has recently adopted the most stringent safety guidelines for electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure, at 1/10th of the ICNIRP standards. This is considered to be the safest in the world and the fact that the Industry is fully compliant with the new exposure norms. Over 90 per cent of the countries of the world have adopted these ICNIRP standards. With the further reduction of these ICNIRP norms by the Government of India in 2012, over 98 per cent of the countries of the world now have EMF emission safety norms above that of India.
While reducing the safety norms, the Government has acknowledged that there is no conclusive scientific evidence linking EMF emissions from mobile base stations to human health and that the lowering of the exposure limit is a precautionary measure.
The COAI believes that mobile towers and base stations in India are safe and fully compliant with the safety, environmental and health norms prescribed by the Government of India, adding that the industry has voluntarily undertaken many proactive measures, including significant redesign of its networks and infrastructure, tower sharing, equipment power reduction, etc., to enhance the operational efficiency and safety of its network.