JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:17/03/2020

Latest News


Anti-radiation activists squirm as panel rubbishes IIT prof's claims

The damning report of a government-appointed panel against IIT professor Girish Kumar, whose studies activists have been quoting in their battle against the unregulated mushrooming of cell towers, has become a major embarrassment foranti-radiation activists here. This came as the civic improvements committee cleared the mobile tower policy with some suggestions from members here on Tuesday. 

The report has also accused Kumar of having a "conflict of interest" as his daughter is in the business of selling anti-radiation shields. 

Kumar denied the charges and has sent a rebuttal to all judges of the Allahabad high court, whose Lucknow bench had directed the government of India to constitute a committee to investigate and submit its report on the adverse effects of 
electromagnetic frequency(EMF). 

Though some leading activists have come out in support of Kumar, they told TOI that they did not rely completely on Kumar's findings and their own research was sufficient to prove their claims. 

Kumar, a part of the 13-member government panel, said he had been "sidelined" by other members. "How can my daughter benefit from my campaign against radiation? On the contrary, I am fighting for a cause that will ensure that she does not get business in future," he said. "I have been talking about the effects of radiation on humans, birds and animals since 2009.'' 

He said his daughter, Neha, started her venture on anti-radiation shields in November 2011 as citizens wanted a solution and telecom companies were not willing to bring down power output from several antennae installed on cell towers. "But I told Neha to be prepared to close down her company the day our (activists) campaign succeeds and all telecom service providers reduce radiation risks in Mumbai. On that day, there will be no need to install shields as citizens, birds and animals will be safe from the harmful effects of radiation," he said. 

Telecom industry sources, however, accused him of "doublespeak" and having "vested motives" to attack the 
Cellular Operators Association of India and other telecom operators. The association itself did not comment on the issue. 

Some activists here have disassociated themselves from Kumar, but many others, including anti-radiation activist Prakash Munshi, came out in his support. "This is character assassination of the professor with no strong evidence. We support Kumar as his findings are scientifically based,'' he said. 

"We have sufficient proof and references to substantiate links of EMF radiation and health hazards to citizens staying in close proximity. We have, however, not relied only on Kumar's opinions alone and have done our own research as well." 

Actress Juhi Chawla, who had also raised her voice against radiation risks and teamed up with Munshi, was not available for comment. 

The government panel, in its report, said Kumar's claims on 
EMF radiation risks were "hypothetical" and an "ill-conceived analysis" and stated that it was a "complete misrepresentation of actual position and shall create only confusion, misperception and unfounded fear in the minds of general public, which should be avoided".

The Times of India (26-02-2014)