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Ministry of Railways allows infrastructure providers to install telecom towers

Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA), the industry association of Digital Infrastructure Providers has welcomed the move made by Ministry of Railways allowing the private infrastructure providers to deploy the telecom towers on the land owned by Railways.

The Ministry of Railways has reportedly made its telecom services available to private companies which will now allow them to install towers on land owned by the Railways. The move comes months after the Union Cabinet lowered the criteria for Land License Fees (LLF) for railroad land to attract private investment. Railways 70 Divisions will also allow installation of pole mounts and small cells in its offices and station premises.

DIPA applauds the continuous support provided to the telecom industry by our Hon’ble Minister of Communications, Railways, and Electronics & Information Technology Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw and releasing the long-awaited policy encouraging the deployment of telecom infrastructure, however, some issues still exist in the policy.

T.R.Dua, Director-General, Digital Infrastructure Providers Association, said” This was a long time demand of the telecom industry which will help in providing better telecom connectivity to the passengers and people leaving in remote areas. The move to allow licensing of railway land to private entities for the installation of telecom towers shall bring down costs and boost efficiency and telecom connectivity. Department of Telecommunications ( DoT) and National Broadband Mission Directorate have been the real backbone of the recent digital transformation in our country and further playing a pivotal role in improving the ease of doing business.”

The new policy comes months after the Union Cabinet eased Land Licensing Fees (LLF) norms for railway land to attract private investment. In accordance with the new LLF policy, the existing rate of 7 percent revenue sharing for mobile towers has been scrapped; instead, annual land usage charges of 1.5 percent of the market value of land would be enforced.

CT Bureau

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