Mobile towers
Representational picture

Two months after the Department of Telecommunications' (DoT) launched the Tarang Sanchar web portal to bring transparency to the issue of cell phone towers and do away with citizens' concerns of radiation, a city-based activist has alleged that the website is "a scam" and does not provide accurate information on Electromagnetic Field (EMF) readings. Walkeshwar resident and anti-radiation activist Prakash Munshi said, "Tarang Sanchar is a complete scam. The information on it is three to six months old. More importantly, the information is certified by the operator and not verified by DoT. It's like a child signing his own leave note at school."

Munshi met officials from the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) department to discuss the portal and how it fails to check various boxes.

"They have not mentioned whether the radiation readings are taken at peak hour or off-peak hour, and at what power. The readings are also not listed frequency wise. Most importantly, many spots have more than three operators listed in them. but show only a reading of 900 Mhz. How is this possible?"

Subodh Saxena, director of TERM (IT), said, "The process of updating the information is a continuous and ongoing one."

He pointed out that peak hours were not of consequence for the readings as 'different operators have different peak hours' and the readings are taken cumulatively, "The readings are not individual readings, but a sum of all radiation readings in that particular area. The readings are not given frequency-wise because they are broadband readings."