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Mobile tower must not be a public health concern

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MEDIA reports said radiation exposure from Mobile Phone towers all over the country is highly risky to human safety. Power supply lines and radio waves from cell phone tower antennas across the country pose serious danger to public health. High voltage power lines are passing through homes in the city's congested residential areas for which accidents occur quite frequently. Besides, high voltage transformers remained exposed and unattended. If it explodes, it can result in fire and subsequent losses. On the other hand, a recent Health Ministry report said that excessive radiation from Mobile Phone towers is a growing danger for people and environment. The power supply agencies in the city are not much aware about the danger of exposed live wire and high voltage transformers though house owners and not less responsible.

It is observed that power lines touching balconies and windows on the 1st floor and occasionally the 2nd floor of residential buildings is common in the city's old part, Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Jatrabari, and other areas where residence bring electricity line along the narrow lanes. Often high voltage transformers were found on poles pretty close to homes exposing them to risk of accidents. Power supply officials said on narrow roads they are left with no option but to draw power lines in close proximity to houses and the lines go even closer where the owners illegally extend their balconies. But the easy solution to the danger to shift the power supply line to underground is ignored.

Reports said at least 150 patients of electrocution; most of electrocuted from live wires, take admission into the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) burn unit per month. Urban planners said that deaths due to electrocution occur for sheer negligence on the parts of power supply officials, house owners and the monitoring authorities. In narrow lanes, the power supply agencies should use safe wire to supply electricity if setting-up of underground network becomes unfeasible. Of the cell phone radiation, an expert committee has examined radiation from 18 towers of six mobile phone companies in the capital's Motijheel, Gulshan and Mirpur areas and found excessive radiation from the towers. A High Court Bench has directed the mobile phone operators to maintain radiation level as per World Health Organization guideline.

We suggest that the government should set up underground power supply network gradually and until then use safe wire at least to protect people around. Moreover Mobile Phone towers must have a system that kills the radiation. There must be constant monitoring of such radiation effects on public health to keep the environment safe.

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