National

Nod for 4,072 mobile towers in 10 Naxal-hit States

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday sanctioned the installation of 4,072 mobile phone towers in 10 Left Wing Extremism-affected States to improve connectivity. The cost is put at ₹7,330 crore.

A meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the proposal.

In the first phase, which was completed two years ago, 2,329 towers were installed at a cost of ₹3,167 crore in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The new plan is aimed at providing voice as well as Internet services to security forces and citizens in 96 districts.

The first phase offered 2G services, and the second phase will have 3G and 4G services, as reported by The Hindu on April 18.

The operational expenses will be part of the project cost. Of the 4,072 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.

The expenses are expected to be borne by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) of the Department of Telecommunications. The USOF is aimed at giving the people in the rural and remote areas widespread and non-discriminatory access to quality information and communications technology services at affordable prices.

The Cabinet also approved installation of 2G and 4G towers in uncovered parts of Meghalaya for ₹3,911 crore and raised the total fund limit for telecom projects in the north-eastern region. “The Union Cabinet...has approved the implementation of a Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for the north-eastern region in Meghalaya at an estimated cost of ₹3,911 crore,” a statement said.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:15:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nod-for-4072-mobile-towers-in-10-naxal-hit-states/article23971472.ece

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