The Union Cabinet has approved a scheme to provide mobile network connectivity in areas affected by Left Wing Extremism. Sitanshu Kar, the Principal Spokesperson for Government of India and Director General of Press Information Bureau has informed that the areas proposed to benefit under the scheme span across 96 districts in 10 states.
The information shared by the PIB states that the scheme is supported by the Universal Services Obligation Fund and it will provide mobile services at 4072 tower locations. The tower locations are reportedly identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs. These areas are inhabited but are yet to receive mobile network connectivity. The total project cost is estimated to be Rs 7,330 crores.
The scheme is aimed at not only providing the security personnel deployed in the area with better and easier connectivity but to benefit the residents of the areas by enhancing economic activities. It is also expected to help the several e-governance activities and help the locals with easier access to financial and public benefits.
Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh states have the highest number of tower locations in the government proposal with 1054 and 1028 locations identified respectively. Other states include Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
In another announcement, the DG of PIB informed that the cabinet has also approved a plan to provide mobile connectivity in the state of Meghalaya under the Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for the North Eastern Region at the estimated cost of Rs 3911 crore. This plan will include mobile network coverage in unconnected areas and also along the National Highways.
The central government has been taking strong steps to curb out the Naxal activities in the country after it came to power. Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh had yesterday stated about preparing specialised anti-Naxal forces called ‘Black Panther’ in the state of Chhattisgarh. He had also informed that the government is also cracking down on fundings received by Left Wing Extremists.