JK govt contemplates to conduct detailed survey around forests
IMPACT OF MOBILE TOWERS ON ENVIRONMENT
Jammu, Aug 4: Government is contemplating to conduct a survey about the impact of cell phone towers, being erected by various telecom companies, on the environment and wildlife.
Official sources revealed that the state forest department has asked the Pollution Control Board (PCB) to conduct a detailed survey about the impact of mobile towers on the wildlife, before clearance is given to the telecom companies to erect their hardware close to forest areas.
They said that Wildlife department has sent a detailed report to the PCB to initiate the studies particularly in Kishtwar, Gurez, Banihal and some other areas along the Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
As per the officials, though the nationwide studies are being carried out by the experts to know the extent of effect microwaves have on environment, state government also want to conduct a separate study.
Pertinent to mention here that in urban centers it is the Municipal Corporations and Deputy Commissioner which give the clearance to mobile companies, while near forest, the companies had to seek clearance from the forest department.
“In recent years due to increase in the cell users and reach of the services, installation of towers near forested areas has become necessary. But it is important to have a proper study on its impact”, said an official.
Minister for Forest Mian Altaf said, “We would examine whether ecological balance gets affected by erecting of mobile towers in forest areas and for that experts have been approached”.
Nowadays mobile facility has become important source of communication in urban as well as rural areas and erection of mobile towers through various forest areas has become a necessity
As per the law, forest clearance to different mobile companies is accorded under J&K Forest (Conservation Act)-1997, if such towers are to be installed on forest land for providing communication facility to the public.
In respect of protected areas clearance is given under, Forest Conservation Act 1997, J&K State and Wildlife Protection Act 2002 and as per the orders of Supreme Court.
About two year back government had constituted a committee headed by respective Deputy Commissioners to conduct survey and submit a detailed report to see that cell towers don't posses security hazard to the people living close by.
The Deputy Commissioners of Jammu, Samba, Rajouri, Poonch, Doda Ramban, Kishtwar, Reasi and Udhampur have already been asked to ensure strict implementation of the directions regarding installation of the towers, so they don’t pose any threat to public.
At present there are close to 40 lakh cell users in the state and the service was started in 2003 when the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government took over the reins of the power. The cell service was marred by many controversies as J&K had tough time to get security clearance from the central agencies.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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