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Cabinet Approves Proposal to Set up 4,072 Mobile Towers in Naxal Affected Areas

The Cabinet Committee on Wednesday has approved the Home Ministry’s proposal of setting up 4,072 mobile towers, to improve the telecom network in 96 districts of the 10 Naxal affected States. The total project cost would be ₹7,330 crore.

This network would be used by the security personnel deployed in left wing extremism (LWE) affected areas.

Connectivity in focus

“Project will also provide the mobile services to help the residents in unconnected inhabited villages which would improve the economic activities in the region. It will give impetus to the e-Governance activities in the backward and LWE affected area with the availability of digital mobile connectivity,” a government statement said.

In the phase-I of the project, the budget for providing the mobile services using 2G technology in LWE areas was sanctioned at a cost of ₹4080.78 crore, which is on completion stage and there are 2,335 sites radiating out of total 2,355 as on date, the government said.

In the second phase, the MHA in consultation with the concerned States has identified 4,072 tower locations for the communication need of the security personnel deployed in 10 states and provided to DoT in October. Technology proposed in the Phase-II has been upgraded to 2G and 4G according to the requirement of stakeholders.

Of the 4,072 mobile towers, 1,054 will be installed in Jharkhand, 1,028 in Chhattisgarh, 483 in Odisha, 429 in Andhra Pradesh, 412 in Bihar, 207 in West Bengal, 179 in Uttar Pradesh, 136 in Maharashtra, 118 in Telangana and 26 in Madhya Pradesh. All the expenses are to be borne by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) of the DoT.

Strengthening network

The Cabinet has also approved provision of comprehensive telecom development plan (CTDP) for the North Eastern Region (NER) in Meghalaya, at a total estimated project cost of ₹3,911 crore. This is an enhanced cost of CTDP project for NER for an amount of ₹8120.81 crore (₹5336.18 crore already approved by the Cabinet in September 2014).

Here too, there is a provision of 2G+4G mobile coverage in identified uncovered areas of Meghalaya and also along the National Highways in Meghalaya.

Strengthening of telecom network will result in increase the penetration of mobile connectivity in Meghalaya resulting in affordable and equitable access of communication, information and governance to people, the government said.- The Hindu BusinessLine

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