Editorial: Tech touch

The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has said that any concern around adverse impact of 5G on health is ‘totally misplaced’, and all evidence available supports that the next-generation technology is safe.

The industry body asserted that 5G would prove to be a ‘game changer’ and lead to “exponential increase in benefits” for the economy and society. The association – which represents large telcos like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – argued that India already has strict norms in place and prescribed standards for electromagnetic radiation limit in telecom sector is far more stringent than global-accepted standards.

“Radiation permitted in India is one-tenth of what is accepted globally so already our systems have taken this into account…Any notion or concern about radiation and impact are misplaced. These are fallacious fears and this always happens whenever a new technology is introduced,” S P Kochhar, Director General, COAI was quoted as saying by PTI.

His comments have come close on the heels of the Delhi High Court dismissing actor Juhi Chawla’s lawsuit challenging the setting up of 5G wireless networks in the country and slapped a fine of Rs 20 lakh on her and co-petitioners by describing the plea as defective, abuse of process of law and filed for gaining publicity.

Justice J R Midha said the plaintiffs — Chawla and two others — have abused and misused the process of law and wasted the court’s time. The judge said the plaint in which questions have been raised about health hazards due to the 5G technology was not maintainable and was stuffed with unnecessary Scandalous, frivolous and vexatious averments which are liable to be struck down. COAI has welcomed the court’s decision and said it puts to rest motivated rumour mongering that was doing the rounds” and would set the pace for others to “desist from such misadventures. While technology is important for development, safety of people is more important.

 

NT Bureau