Department of Telecommunications clears Rs.3K crore project in Naxal-hit areas

New Delhi, May 31 (ANI): The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has cleared a proposal to set up 2,199 mobile towers worth Rs.3000 crores in Naxal-hit areas of the country.

Revealing this to media on Friday. Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said: "We are committed to develop the infrastructure in naxal affected areas...DoT has cleared the proposal and it will now be sent to Cabinet."

The DoT has cleared the three-year old proposal that would cost the government Rs.3,046.12 crore amid the recent killings of 27 people, including senior Congress leaders, in Chattisgarh by Maoists.

According to the proposal, the 2,199 towers are likely to be spread across nine states - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The identified areas do not have mobile coverage.

The DoT has proposed installing towers in the Naxal-affected areas through state-run BSNL on nomination basis without floating any open tender by using the Universal Service Obligation Fund.

The ministry will seek Cabinet approval to amend Indian Telegraph Rules for the purpose. As per Indian Telegraph rules, USOF can be provided to firms selected through a bidding process.

Sibal also launched the pilot e-Gov application store, which has been designed, developed and hosted by Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) through NIC.

"The e-Gov Appstore will bring functional efficiencies in the government and enable citizens to receive services in a more streamlined manner. Inclusion of IT governance aims to reduce uncertainty and improve transparency," Sibal said.

At present, 20 applications are hosted on the store while 100 new applications will be put on it in three years. (ANI with inputs)


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