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High Court asks BTRC for report on mobile tower radiation
Bangladesh Created: 28 Apr 2019
The court has also asked to remove mobile phone towers from roofs.

The High Court has directed Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to submit a report within four months on the impact of radiation from mobile phone towers on the human body and the environment.

A bench comprising Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir issued the directive on Thursday in response to a writ petition filed on October 18, 2012, by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) - a rights organization - seeking the courtís order to prevent radiation from mobile-phone towers.

The bench also issued eleven directives to protect people, trees, and animals from harmful radiation from the mobile phone towers.

The 11 directives are: to make mobile tower radiation according to standards; not to install more mobile phone towers and also remove towers from rooftops of houses, school, colleges, hospitals, clinics, jails, fields, residential areas, heritage and archaeological sites; to take security measures to control radiation; formulate rules in acquiring land to install mobile phone towers; make the BTRC and license owners independently measure radiation in compliance with ITU and IEC codes; replace over-radiated towers with new ones; make the BTRC take responsibility for tower verification and monitoring tests; form a BTRC cell to monitor threats against health; and have the BTRC form an alternative dispute resolution committee and the license owners submit reports every six months.

Secretaries to the Ministry of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Environment, and the chairmen of BTRC and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission have been made respondents to the ruling.In response to the petition, filed by HRPB annexing newspaper reports on harmful mobile radiation, the HC on October 30, 2012 ordered the government to examine the level of emission from mobile phone towers and assess its effect on health and environment, and submit two separate reports to it.

Why directives should not be given to take effective steps to control radiation from mobile phone towers installed all over the country, the court asked.

The court also sought reports on radiation measures from the Atomic Energy Commission and told the health ministry to form an expert committee to prepare its report about health threats from radiation.

On February 26, 2017, the HRPB filed an appeal with the HC, which ordered the health ministry to collect reports on the harmful impact of mobile tower radiation on the human body as soon as possible.

Advocate Manzil Murshid represented the petitioner, Khandaker Reza-E-Rakib represented BTRC, and Deputy Attorney General Zinat Haque represented the state.
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Source: Dhaka Tribune, Mizanur Rahman, 25 Apr 2019

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