Today's Paper

795 low-capacity cellphone towers dot Red Corridor

In the past three months, 795 mobile-phone towers have been set up in the Maoist-affected districts of the country, known as the Red Corridor.

The plan to provide a channel of communication in these remote areas has taken off after remaining on paper for the past five years. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government aims to erode the influence of Maoists with connectivity and a faster mode of communication. There is a glitch though. These towers can handle only 20 calls at a time and data services are a distant reality, sources said.

Mobile-phone connectivity is one of many development projects being taken up in the Maoist-affected States. Officials involved in the project said the presence of Bharatiya Janata Party governments at the Centre and the States had helped.

For example, Chhattisgarh, a BJP-ruled State, the worst affected by Maoist activities, has installed 465 of the 497 towers proposed. They are being put up in the vicinity of security camps of the Central armed police forces and local police stations.