Saturday, January 22, 2022

Government to provide 4G mobile services in over 7,000 villages of 44 aspirational districts: I&B Minister Anurag Thakur

The Union Cabinet has given nod to provide 4G mobile services in over 7,000 villages of 44 aspirational districts across Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Odisha. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi today, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said, mobile towers connectivity will be provided in Left Wing Extremist areas. He said the project is expected to be worth 6466 crore rupees.

He said that the project would be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). This project will be completed within 18 months after the signing of the Agreement and is likely to be completed by 23 November 2023.

The work related to providing 4G mobile services in identified uncovered villages will be awarded through an open competitive bidding process. The proposal for provisioning of mobile services in the remote and difficult uncovered areas of Aspirational Districts will enhance digital connectivity, facilitate learning, dissemination of information and knowledge, skill up-gradation, and development. The minister said this will fulfill the vision of Digital India promoting domestic manufacturing and fulfilling the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

He further adds, the Cabinet has also approved the continuation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)-I, PMGSY-II, and Road Connectivity Project for Left-Wing Extremism Affected Areas.

Also, areas that were not covered for road connectivity under phases one and two of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana or the Left-Wing Extremism affected areas RCPLWEA and the tribal areas are going to be benefited. Mr. Thakur said roads will be built through dense forests, mountains, and rivers.

A total of one lakh 12 thousand 419 crore rupees, including state share, is likely to be incurred from 2021-22 to 2024-25 for completion of all the ongoing interventions of PMGSY. He said, 4,490 Km road length and 105 bridges have already been completed under RCPLWEA since 2016 in 44 districts in nine states.

The minister informed Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs CCEA has given an extension of time up to September next year to help North East and Hill States to complete pending works. The CCEA also approved the continuation of Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas up to March 2023.

AIR correspondent reports, the PMGSY promotes use of new and green technology in the construction of rural roads. Locally available materials are used in road construction in order to promote cost-effective and fast construction. So far, more than one lakh km road length has been taken up using new and green technology, out of which, more than 61,000 km has been completed. The government launched PMGSY-III in 2019 for consolidation of 1,25,000 Km road length by March 2025. Around 72,000 Km road length has so far been sanctioned under PMGSY-III, out of which, 17,750 km has been completed.

Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas was launched in 2016 for construction and up-gradation of 5,412 Km road length and 126 bridges of strategic importance in 44 districts in 9 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh, with an outlay of 11,725 crore rupees.

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