Mobile towers no health threat: Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi: Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday that fears of mobile towers being hazardous to health are not true, adding that reports from the World Health Organisation do not substantiate the claim.

Replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha, Prasad said government is talking to private telecom companies for reinforcing infrastructure.

Mobile towers
Representational picture

"For infrastructure, we need towers, if we don't have permission to install towers, then infrastructure will not improve," Prasad said responding to a query on call dropping and other problems.

"Right now, there is a campaign going on in the country that it (mobile towers) emits health hazard. I have myself examined it at some point of time, I will come with further details to this house. This entire campaign is not very substantial," Prasad informed Rajya Sabha.

"There have been proper studies of WHO... there are 30 reports. I got my committee established, and I want to assure the house proper infrastructure for towers ought to be allowed," the minister said.

Prasad also said that the government is working to enhance the infrastructure for MTNL and BSNL and several new towers will be erected.

"The health of BSNL and MTNL is not good. As long as public sector is not strong competition will not be healthy," the minister said.

"25,000 new towers will be erected by BSNL, MTNL is also building 800 to 900 more towers in Delhi and Mumbai," he said.

The minister also said that there were some "powers" that kept MTNL and BSNL unhealthy.

"BSNL till 2004 was in Rs.10,000 crore profit. Why is it in loss now, the question must be raised. MTNL was in Rs.800-900 crore profit, why did it go in loss? They were not allowed to expand," Prasad said.

"There were powers which wanted BSNL and MTNL to stay unhealthy so that the competition is not there," he added.

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