Krabi village forces removal of cell tower over health fears

Krabi village forces removal of cell tower over health fears

People in Moo 3 village of Plai Phraya district, Krabi, held a referendum on April 10 to reject a True Corp mobile-phone cell tower. (NBTC photo)
People in Moo 3 village of Plai Phraya district, Krabi, held a referendum on April 10 to reject a True Corp mobile-phone cell tower. (NBTC photo)

Residents of a Krabi village have voted to force True Corp to remove its mobile-phone cell tower from the Khiriwong sub-district neighbourhood over fears about radiation.

In an April 10 Khiri Wong tambon administrative organisation referendum, voters in Moo 3 village of Plai Phraya district decided 93 to 26, with eight abstentions, in favour of having the True Telecommunications Growth Infrastructure Fund remove the partially constructed base transceiver station.

True has promised to comply immediately and unconditionally with the wishes of residents if the vote went against the mobile carrier.

Villagers earlier had complained to the Phuket office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission that the base station had been built without prior consultation and explanation to residents and stood as little as 20 metres from houses, sparking concerns about possible illnesses from radiation and radiofrequency wavelengths.

Numerous global studies have shown there is little evidence to suggest cell towers increase risks of cancer or other illnesses, according to the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization.

Nonetheless, residents complained that True's construction of the cell site violated NBTC regulations requiring that operators discuss the installation of mobile phone antennas with local residents in advance and allay worries about the health impacts of low levels of electromagnetic energy produced by them.

After receiving the complaint, the NBTC' halted construction of the base station and the Khiriwong TAO held a forum for villagers and True representatives to discuss the issue April 1.

The meeting resulted in an agreement to hold the referendum.


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