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Chandigarh

Posted at: Apr 23, 2018, 2:42 AM; last updated: Apr 23, 2018, 2:42 AM (IST)

Mobile towers a new source of pollution, says NGT official

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 22

Justice Jawad Rahim, acting chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), raised the issue of the pollution due to electromagnetic radiations emanating from mobile towers. 

He was speaking at the Regional Conference on Environment at Panjab University (PU) on Sunday, where he described electromagnetic fields as a form of new pollution. 

He said the population of house sparrows is near to extinction due to this hazard. “The installation of mobile towers has so far remained unchecked. These towers are installed unscientifically.” 

Praising Justice Swatanter Kumar and quoting him, he said, “Only when the last river has been polluted, last tree has been cut and last fish has been killed, we would realise that we couldn’t eat money.” 

Shimla and Sukhna Lake

Justice Sanjay Karol, acting Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh (HP) High Court, said from 1971 to 1985, about 25 lakh deodar trees were cut in HP. Finally, the apex court intervened to stop the cutting of trees. “But after that theft has started. If regulations are not imposed, the forest wealth of Himalayas would be lost in two to three decades.” 

He added: “Sukhna Lake is drying as its carrying capacity has decreased. I don’t know whether in future it would survive or not.” 

He also pointed out that how HP has been facing the burden of tourists. 

Justice Swatanter Kumar (retd), former chairperson of the NGT and convenor of NGO Global Platform for Environment (GPE), said: “Shimla is in eco-sensitive zone. An earthquake of 4-5 Richter Scale would cause a loss of about 20,000 lives.” 

Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Hemant Gupta said the paper industry consumed gallons of water and saving paper would save water. He pointed out how his staff used to take printouts of judgments on the back of used pages and despite making water harvesting mandatory, people in Chandigarh and Haryana managed to circumvent it. 

Punjab and Haryana Court Chief Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar said they needed to look for innovative solutions to tackle the problem of environmental degradation. 

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