India: 'misleading' information on radiations
zondag, 22 februari 2015 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal
Bron: economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/cic-reprimands-moef-for-giving-misleading-information-on-radiations/articleshow/46331380.cms .
22 febr. 2015
CIC reprimands MoEF for giving 'misleading' information on radiations
NEW DELHI: The Environment Ministry got a rap on its knuckles from the CIC for furnishing ''false and misleading'' information that there was no study by it on the harmful effects of mobile radiations.
The Central Information Commission was hearing a case related to an RTI applicant seeking information in respect of a press release from WHO, which termed the electromagnetic waves from mobiles as possible carcinogens for a kind of brain cancer.
The applicant sought to know whether Environment Ministry has declared these radio-waves as air-pollutants, details on steps taken by the ministry to reduce their impact, and was there any study to measure the harmful biological effects of the waves emanating from cell phone towers on human health.
The ministry said it has not undertaken or sponsored any such study. However, during the hearing it came to light that there was an inter-ministerial group which studied the matter and submitted a report in 2010.
The CIC yesterday expressed ''surprise'' that the Environment Ministry claimed that there is no study when an inter-ministerial group in 2010 and the WHO had said that there is an adverse impact of radiations on human health and made several suggestions on the ''crucial issue''.
''The Commission found that the answer of the CPIO in response to this RTI request is false and misleading. The ministry said there is no report when they knew or presumed to have known the content of both the reports -- by WHO and the inter-ministerial group,'' Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.
''The Commission is surprised that the respondent authority knew that the report was submitted by the inter-ministerial group, but officers neither cared to submit the copy of the report nor read it. The Commission could trace the report from the websites of Department of Telecommunication and DDA,'' noted Acharyulu who issued show a cause notice to the ministry.
The report of the inter-ministerial group highlighted the adverse effects of the EMFs on human health and made very specific recommendations of not permitting cell towers near schools, residential colonies, and hospitals, he said.
''It is astonishing and pathetic that the Ministry of Environment and Forests is inclined to discuss whether this falls under the definition of air pollution or not. It has not only ignored the WHO report cautioning the ill-effects on humans but did not care to read the report of its own group on radiation,'' he said.
Acharyulu also came down heavily on the Delhi Development Authority asking them to explain why they are propagating false information that there are no adverse effects of radiations on human beings and carrying on with the installation of mobile towers.
He directed the Environment Ministry to give reasons for not imposing any restrictions on installations of mobile towers and instead permitting the DDA to go ahead with ''unrestricted installation'' of mobile towers, in spite of recommendations against it.
He further asked the ministry to furnish whether it has declared EMF (electromagnetic fields) as air pollutants, and if not, the reasons for not doing the same.
The Central Information Commission also directed the Delhi government-led by Arvind Kejriwal to probe reasons for ignoring ''vital'' reports on harmful effects of mobile towers on human health while giving permission for installation of mobile towers on roof tops.
Acharyulu instructed the Chief Minister's Office to inform the people about measures to be initiated in relation to recommendations of the 2010 report and also by the WHO.
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