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In an advisory, the Environment Ministry has said that there is an 'urgent need' to refine the Indian standard on safe limits of exposure to electro-magnetic radiations
In an advisory, the Ministry has said that there is an 'urgent need' to refine the Indian standard on safe limits of exposure to electro-magnetic radiations (EMR).
Till it is reformed, "a precautionary approach shall be preferred to minimise the exposure levels and adopt stricter norms possible, without compromising on optimum performance of the networks," it said.
It noted that the radiations could be having varying negative impact on wildlife, particularly birds and bees.
Accordingly, it asked the DoT to ensure that new mobile towers are not constructed within one-km radius of the existing ones "so as not to obstruct flight path of birds, and also not to increase the combined radiations from all towers" in the area.
"To prevent overlapping of high radiation fields, new towers should not be permitted within a radius of one kilometre of the existing towers. Sharing of passive infrastructure if made mandatory for Telecom Service Providers can minimise need of having additional towers," it said.
The Ministry asked the DoT that location and frequencies of cellphone towers and other towers emitting EMR, should be made available in public domain.
"This can be at city/district/village level. Location- wise GIS mapping of all cellphone towers should be maintained which would, inter alia, help in monitoring the population of birds and bees in and around the mobile towers and also in and/or around wildlife protection areas," the advisory said.
The advisory has been issued on the basis of an expert committee study on the possible impacts of communication towers on wildlife and bees. The panel was constituted by the Environment Ministry in 2010.
In an affidavit, the state government said its amendment to restrict RTI application 150 words was not issued to curtail freedom of express or to cause unwarranted harassment to citizens seeking information
Mumbai: The Maharashtra Government has contended before the Bombay High Court that a recent amendment in the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which restricts the contents of RTI application to 150 words and one subject only, had been introduced to streamline the procedure and did not in any way infringe on the fundamental rights of citizens, reports PTI.
The impugned amendment was not issued to curtail freedom of express or to cause unwarranted harassment to citizens seeking information as the petition has alleged, Joint Secretary, General Administration Department Rashid Gafoor Sayyed, said in an affidavit.
The affidavit was filed in response to a petition filed by Shivaji Kshirsagar who challenged the amendment in RTI Act through a notification on 16th January, which imposed restriction over the words and subject of the application.
The amendment said if the applicant desired to seek information on more than one subject he should make separate applications for each subject.
Taking the affidavit on record, a bench headed by Justice DD Sinha asked the petitioner to file a rejoinder by 7th September.
The petitioner prayed for setting aside the amendment, saying it provides weapons to the public information officers to reject the application.
According to the petition, the impugned notification is against the objectives of the RTI act, principle of natural justice and violates fundamental rights. It is inconsistent with the parent act, unconstitutional and against the law.
The government affirmed in affidavit that it had been observed that mostly applications filed under RTI Act suffered from unwarranted complications. Instead of seeking information on one topic, most of these applications sought information pertaining to various departments and divisions of the State.
In such cases, the public information officer is unable to collect information from various departments in 30 days.
Therefore, it was thought fit to ensure that information on a particular subject should be sought from that concerned department instead of clubbing it together with a related topic, the affidavit said.
Can the government give the Padma award to a wilful defaulter, as it came out in the case of Kinetic group chairman Arun Firodia, questions an RTI activist