In order to hit upon a novel formula, Indian Army extends a helping hand to provide a capacity of 25-km optical fibre cable link for civilian traffic. State-run telecom service provider BSNL setup the equipments to provide the link of connectivity, to reach the remotest areas.
Situated in the strategically important eastern Ladakh region of Finger 3 area on the south bank of Pangong Lake, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the residents of Merak have been provided with telecom connectivity after waiting for years.
March 1, 2021, marks the first time for the Merak and Khakted village to enter the telecom map of India. According to the Area Councillor Konchok Stanzin, telecom connectivity in villages near the border is strategically essential. The tower installed with support of Indian Army is not only beneficial to local residents but also to Army personnel posted on border areas as well as tourist visitors to Pangong Lake.
The rigorous efforts of providing last mile connectivity is visible as the highest mobile tower in Eastern Ladakh is standing tall at an altitude of 16,000 ft which remains the joint operation of Indian Army and BSNL. In addition to this, USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) has cleared 24 sites for setting up mobile services.
Under the (USOF) scheme, 54 villages in the Ladakh region, which include 19 in Kargil, 11 in Zanskar and seven in Nobra, were set to get the Jio mobile service. The initiative has been taken in order to reach the remotest areas and villages which remain cut off for six months from Leh during winter season.
Various initiatives have been taken by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) along with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to create a shared digital infrastructure and to provide holistic support to cities and towns.