Union Cabinet has approved Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA’s) proposal of setting up 4,072 mobile towers to improve telecom connectivity network in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Areas. This network would be used by security personnel deployed in LWE affected areas.
These towers will be set up at cost of Rs. 7,330 crore in 96 districts of 10 naxal affected states through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) of Department of Telecommunications (DoT). These states are Jharkhand (1,054 towers will be installed), Chhattisgarh (1,028), Odisha (483), Andhra Pradesh (429), Bihar (412), West Bengal (207), Uttar Pradesh (179), Maharashtra (136), Telangana (118) and Madhya Pradesh (26).
The project will also provide mobile services to help residents in unconnected inhabited villages which will improve economic activities in region. It will give impetus to e-Governance activities in backward and LWE affected area with availability of digital mobile connectivity.
In the phase-I of the telecom connectivity network project, budget for providing mobile services using 2G technology in LWE areas was sanctioned at cost of Rs. 4080.78 crore. It is on completion stage and there are 2,335 tower sites functioning of total 2,355 approved.
In phase-II, MHA in consultation with concerned states had identified 4,072 tower locations for communication need of security personnel deployed in 10 states and provided to DoT in October 2017. It has upgraded telecommunications technology from 2G and 4G according to the requirement of stakeholders.