Mobile networks in Naxal-affected areas in 15 months: Ravi Shankar Prasad
NEW DELHI: Mobile networks are likely to be set up in
the Naxal-affected areas in 15 months under the Universal Service Obligation
Fund Scheme, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Monday.
“Mobile networks under the USOF scheme are likely to
be set up in 15 months. Phase VII expansion of BSNL in the states affected by
LWE (Left Wing Extremism) is likely to be completed by April 2015,” he said in
a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
Saying that the government is concerned about the
coverage and quality of telecommunication services in LWE-affected areas, he
added that the government has approved installation of mobile towers at 1,836
locations in the states affected by LWE with funding from USOF.
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has already
installed mobile towers at 363 locations. According to the minister, the
project cost calculated by the BSNL “through transparent, open tender process
is Rs 3,567.58 crore”.
In a meeting in June, the Telecom Commission
recommended that the proposal may be placed before the Cabinet for approval.