HC seeks response on plea to remove mobile tower near Batalik health centre

HC seeks response on plea to remove mobile tower near Batalik health centre

SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Monday sought response from telecom companies to a petition seeking to remove mobile towers from public health centre at Batalik, Kargil by May 15.
The division bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Tashi Rabstan sought response from Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) through Chief General Manager, Jammu, BSNL District Manager Leh, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) through Chief Executive Officer, Kargil, Chief Medical Officer, Kargil, and Bharti Airtel Ltd through Senior Manager, Jammu.
The litigation was moved by Mohammad Habib, a social activist of Kargil through his counsel Syed Manzoor stating that the installation of BSNL mobile tower in close proximity of a public health centre at Batalik “without obtaining No Objection Certificate (NOC)” was a violation of guidelines issued by Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Counsel Syed Manzoor submitted before the court that allowing towers to operate in close proximity of health centres will affect the health of everyone particularly patients. He said under telecom regulatory rules, it is not permissible to place towers inside health centres, schools or congested residential areas.
He pleaded for timely action to remove the towers wherever it is not permissible for them to operate.
As per the petition, the local residents of Batalik have also raised objections to the installation of mobile towers in close proximity to health centres before Chief Medical Officer, Kargil but nothing has been done so far.
The petitioner quoted a 2012 judgement of Rajasthan High Court which mentioned government committee recommendations for avoiding towers on hospitals and school buildings “as the children and patients may be more susceptible to the possible harmful effects of electro-magnetic radiation”.
The petition called for strict implementation of DoT guidelines for installation of mobile towers. Further, the petition stated that schools, hospitals, playgrounds and densely populated areas be strictly monitored.