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20 September, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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BTRC finalises guidelines to curb mobile tower radiation

Tareque Moretaza, Dhaka
BTRC finalises guidelines to curb mobile tower radiation

The Bangladesh Tele-communication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has finalised the guidelines on limiting radiation from base transceiver stations of mobile phone operators. The BTRC, following a High Court instruction in March, 2017, initiated moves to frame a set of guidelines to check radiation from mobile phone towers.

“Following the court's directive, a guideline has been prepared, giving priority to public health protection, said BTRC chairman Jahurul Haque. “We want the highest safety of people. It is important to improve the communication system and protect human health as well. We are working with that in mind,” he added.

The draft guidelines, titled ‘Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to Radiation of Electromagnetic Fields’, was published by the telecom regulator on February 8 last year, seeking public opinion 11 months after the HC instruction. Haque said, “We have already measured the radiation level of the towers in several areas. We didn't find anything harmful there. Yet, there is need to have a permanent measurement process. We're working on that.”

The High Court on April 25, 2019 directed the telecom regulator to do a thorough study within the next four months to measure the impact of radiation from telecom towers on citizens’ health 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 were asked to be removed.

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 emitting high radiation.

When asked about the HC directive to form monitoring cell, the BTRC chairman said, “We’ve already started working in this regard.”

The HC bench also directed the BTRC to make verification mandatory for installing mobile phone towers.

In 2012, the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh had filed a petition before the HC in 2012 over the radiation level of towers.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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