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Bombay High Court observes that sparrows disappeared after cell towers were set up

The Bombay high court on Wednesday said sparrows had disappeared from Mumbai since cellphone towers were set up. Bombay High courtThe oral observations were made by a bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice B P Colabawalla while hearing a petition by former Mumbai sheriff Kiran Shantaram and Ravindra Wankurde. The petition, which expressed health concerns, is filed on behalf of residents of eight buildings, challenging the construction of a 4G cell tower by Reliance Jio Infocomm inside V Shantaram Balodyan at RajKamal Studio compound in Parel.Their advocate Sneha Phene argued that the consent of 70% of residents is required as per a state government notification. “Residents have taken an opinion poll and almost unanimously rejected the idea of a cell tower,“ said Phene. Senior advocate Milind Sathe, appearing for Reliance, said 70% consent is applicable “only to a cooperative housing society and not the public at large“. He also said there are orders of five high courts that have considered various expert committee reports, opining that the intensity of electromagnetic waves from cell towers is lower than AM and FM radios, it diminishes in 15-20m and the equipment is at a height of 25m. “It doesn’t cause any harm to children,“ said Sathe.

Phene argued that there is a ministry of environment and forests report, stating that radiation from cell towers is harmful. The judges said there are “conflicting“ reports. Phene urged for interim relief but the HC said: “Ultimately , if we come to the conclusion, the tower can be demolished.“

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