Based on a complaint of State Planning Board Member Rama Chandra Panda, the Department of Telecommunication Deputy Director General (Access Services-I) SK Gupta has sought a status report and future plans of the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), including BSNL, for installation of towers in the tribals- dominated Gajapati district to address network problem in the region.
A reply from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to Panda revealed this.
Based on the feedback received from the various TSPs and the BSNL, Gupta has informed Panda that the BSNL has installed 51 mobile towers in the district and additional 11 towers would be set up under the Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas (LWE) Phase-I scheme with the support of the USO Fund. Besides, the BSNL is planning to install two more towers under their on-going network expansion plan, the reply said.
Similarly, the Reliance Jio Inforcomm Ltd has already installed 33 towers and have plans to install 77 more such towers in the district and the Bharati Airtel Limited have installed 41 towers and have plans for installation of two more towers at Paralakhemundi and Betaguda. Similarly, the Vodafone Idea limited have already set up 30 towers and have plans to install more towers.
In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has already identified 24 other locations under the LWE Phase-II scheme in the district for installation of towers under USO funding for which Cabinet approval has been received and detailed project report (DPR) is under preparation, the letter said.
Gupta also mentioned that six Gram Panchayats in Mohana block has been declared ‘Service Ready’ for high-speed broadband connectivity under the BharatNet project. Most of the GP’s in seven blocks are likely to be covered under the project soon, informed Gupta.
Assuring improvement of the existing network, Gupta claimed that the above-planned activities will bring significant improvement in the quality of mobile services in Gajapati.
Panda had submitted a memorandum after his return from the ‘Cyclone Titli’ affected Gajapati district two months back. Panda had witnessed that tribals were deprived of getting information relating to relief and rehabilitation and, even, many of them failed to get the benefits of welfare schemes of the State Government due to poor nework.―The Pioneer