The Department of Telecom today launched a public helpline and web-portal for registering complaints against Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) radiations emitted from mobile towers (those operational in the Mumbai Telecom Circle). As per an official statement, those in the city can use the helpline number – 99695 55000 and this number should be accessible on all working days between 10 AM to 5:30 PM. There is an online facility, too that will be available round the clock and can be found on the homepage of the DoT website (www.dot.gov.in) under the link “Public Grievance – EMF Radiation” — providing users with an alternative mode for registering complaints.
The EMF Complaint Helpline
Importantly, the processing fee for each complaint is Rs.4,000, and if the site is found to be non-compliant upon testing, then the amount shall be refunded. Further, the status on the registered complaints and the EMF radiation level of the Mobile towers/ locations will be made available to the users on the web-portal in an interactive manner.
These measures are in tandem with the recent changes done to make mobile radiation regulations in the country stricter. Earlier reports had revealed that beginning September 1, this year, rigorous checks would be implemented on the electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones. Now, as a part of a set of precautionary guidelines the government has issued for mobile users, it advises them to keep distance between the body and the phone, by either using the speakerphone option or headset.
These guidelines are in line with an earlier mention. In December last year, the government had declared that hands-free, which till then was just another accessory bundled up with a mobile phone, would soon be made mandatory to be provided with all mobile phones. The reason was that using hands-free, as opposed to answering calls the usual way, is being seen as an effective way of steering clear of radiation emissions. Switching over to SMS or other non-voice modes of communication too is preferable for evading radiation.
Further in its new guidelines, the government advises users to limit the length of their voice calls and resort to messaging instead. The guidelines suggest that if the user has a choice between making calls from a mobile phone and a landline, he or she should go for the latter. Mobile phone users should make calls from a location where the signal is strong. “If the radio signal is weak, a mobile phone will increase its transmission power. Find a strong signal and avoid movement, use your phone where reception is good,” it added.