As many as 1,000 mobile network towers will be installed in the Maoist-affected areas of the newly formed Alluri Sitarama Raju (ASR) district in Andhra Pradesh in the next one year.
Satish Kumar, the Superintendent of Police (SP) on Saturday told ANI, “The mobile service providers are ready to establish 1,000 new mobile towers in tribal pocket hill areas. Jio is coming up with 700 towers. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is going to set up 300 towers in three phases in the next one year.”
The district police and the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) are going to install the network towers in the remote region.
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The ASR district has 22 Mandals, most of which are located in the tribal belt and only 20 to 25 percent of people have access to mobile network, police said.
Satish stated, “All headquarters of the mandals already are connected to mobile networks. Government can provide medical facilities to the tribal areas with mobile connectivity.”
Mobile network operations have refrained from installing mobile towers in Maoist-affected areas due to the apprehensions that Maoists might set these towers on fire. In 2017, Maoists set ablaze mobile towers at Dharakonda.
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GK Veedhi, Chintapalli, Pedabayalu, Munchingput, G Madugula, Hukumpeta, Dumbriguda, Koyyuru are among the most Maoists-affected areas.
In another related development, the government has allocated a project worth Rs. 3,683 crore for providing 4G mobile services in uncovered villages of aspirational districts, an official source said in May.
Under the project, Bharti Airtel will install 1,083 mobile towers with an expenditure of Rs. 847.95 crore in Jharkhand and Maharashtra and Reliance Jio will roll out 3,696 towers for Rs. 2,836 crore, the source said. The project was allocated to the companies in May.
“The project to provide 4G coverage in uncovered villages of aspirational district of five states was approved by the Cabinet last year. Airtel and Jio have been given 18 months to roll out 4G services in the identified villages,” the source said.
The project envisages to provide 4G based mobile services in 7,287 uncovered villages of 44 Aspirational Districts across five states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha at an estimated cost of implementation about Rs. 6,466 crore including operational expenses for five years.