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Government plans to install 4,072 mobile towers in Naxal affected areas

April 17, 2018

The government is planning to install more than 4,000 mobile towers in areas affected by Naxal activity in 10 states to improve telecom network in such places. These additional towers will strengthen the telecom network in these areas which are facing security challenges.

The Telecom Commission has approved the proposal to install the 4,072 mobile towers in the 10 states under the mobile tower phase-II scheme and cabinet approval is now being sought. Of the total 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.

In the first phase, completed about two years ago, 2,329 mobile towers were installed at a cost of Rs 31.67 billion in Naxal affected areas in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The total outlay of the second phase is not known but the expenses are expected to be borne by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The operational expenses for running the towers will be part of the project cost as well. The objective of the USOF is to provide widespread and non-discriminatory access to quality information and communications technology (ICT) services at affordable prices to people in rural and remote areas. The fund is also aimed at providing effective and powerful linkage to hinterland areas in order to get them connected to the mainstream population.


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