BSNL to install and maintain 2,199 mobile towers in naxal affected states

The union cabinet chaired by the prime minister, Narendra Modi has given its approval to install and maintain 2,199 mobile towers in naxal affected states.

The USOF (universal service obligation fund) supported scheme will help in providing mobile services at 2,199 locations affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in 10 states – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The USOF project would be executed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and would also be maintained by BSNL for 5 years. BSNL has already installed towers at 363 locations.

The USOF would fund the capital expenditure and operative expenditure net of revenue for five years. The project implementation cost through the open tendering process is approximately Rs 3,568 crore against the revised cost estimate of approximately Rs 3,216 crore.

The establishment of mobile services would augment public communication facilities in backward regions and also provide a platform for mobile services including m-commerce, mobile based information dissemination and easy access to governance and policing.

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