Its all about a mobile tower that triggers trouble in a huge area of Barpeta district forcing the people to go all out against AirTel. Local residents in Bhawanipur start complaining a number of health problems a couple of months after the mobile service provider installed a tower near a school allegedly violating the laid down rules. “Several persons in our area have complains of ear and eye problems. Our people had no such problems before AirTel had set up the mobile tower. The complaints before the doctor are common. These problems can be eradicated only after the withdrawal of the tower,” Harekrishna Talukdar told Assam Times.
According to another local resident Chandra Kanta Talukdar, the common complaints are ear and nose bleeding apart from sudden rise in cancer cases after the AirTel installed the tower. The adverse impact of the mobile tower is spotted in the fruits and vegetables. “Banana trees in my backyard have been gradually decaying. Vegetables refuse to grow. Fruits do not bear in the trees in the entire area. Isn’t it an adverse impact of the tower in question?,” said Anil Das whose house is situated at a stone’s throw distance from the mobile tower. Another resident Tiken Das said, “for decades my staple source of income has been cultivation. But for the last couple of months whatever I have done fails to bear any fruit. I can’t grow cabbage, potatoes, cucumber and others. My cultivable plot has perhaps lost the quality like never before. I have not seen any tree or plant decaying before installing the AirTel tower,” rued Tiken Das. Laid down rules donot allow any mobile service provider to set up a tower near park, hospital, school. But how AirTel managed to do it near a school. Who is to be blamed? Local residents blamed a school headmaster for clearing a no objection certificate. But he is on retirement. They further alleged that the headmaster had secret understanding with AirTel. He allowed AirTel to set up the tower. But the local residents have been bearing the brunt.