India: Govt to study cell phone tower radiation on birds

CHENNAI: The ministry for environment and forests has commissioned a vital three-month study to understand the impact of mobile phone tower radiation on birds and insects in the wake of disappearing bird species and bees. “I have heard these radiations have deleterious impact on birds. In Odisha, I heard that crows and other birds have fallen dead from the sky.

There has been no understanding on this,” said Jayanthi Natarajan, minister for environment and forests on the sidelines of the sixth edition of Beacon 2012, organised by the Loyola Institute of Business Administration on the importance of ‘eco-innovation’ in business models.

“And this is what prompted us to do the study,” she added. She also said that she plans to write to the telecom minister. “They should set up a separate task force to monitor the radiation impacts these towers have,” she said.

The minister also said she is strongly against the idea of Dow Chemicals being one of the sponsors of the Olympics. “As an Indian, I feel that someone who has caused such tremendous damage to the environment cannot be allowed to sponsor,” she said.

The minister is also mooting the idea of monitoring all industries 24X7.

“I agree that there have been gaps in our monitoring systems. The state pollution control boards will monitor all industries with consent to operate license to check for increases in pollution levels,” she said. The results will be put on the MoEF’s website where the public can see and scrutinize.

Jayanthi also suggested that industries have some amount of self-regulation when it comes to damaging the environment.

“We can’t keep policing them all of the time. Industries should understand that green and clean business is good business,” she said. “But most corporate companies have been very cooperative and responsible,” she added. Yet there is a long way to go, she said.

“I suggest that they not only have a corporate social responsibility but also a corporate social and environment responsibility. We need to know what the company has done to the environment. The companies should disclose this on internet so that there is transparency,” she added.

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