8 December 2022

Dehradun: Nearly 700 villages, including those near international borders with China and Nepal, in the state, is yet to get mobile phone networks, the country’s telecoms watchdog has revealed in a report. Besides, over half of the 3,500 villages in the state is relying on 2G services. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ( TRAI ) annual report released in March, around 83.8 lakh people are using the internet in the state. Out of the total, 38.9 lakh users are in rural areas. Interestingly, 39 % of internet users in rural areas are women, which is more than the national average of 24.6 %. Of 3,500 villages, the state-run BSNL provides 2G services in around 1,600 villages.

To boost the mobile and internet connectivity in hills and far-flung areas, Union communications, electronics, and information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in August approved 1,202 new BSNL towers for Uttarakhand.

yet to get mobile network
yet to get a mobile network

BSNL officials said they have been tasked with erecting new towers to provide mobile phone and internet services in those areas, where no private company is operating. BSNL General Manager Vijai Pal ” After identifying villages, we are searching for private land on lease or rent in these areas to erect towers. Besides, we are going to write to the state government to provide space in forests ar eas to install towers as maximum areas in the hill state could be covered by mobile phone services .”

The officials said infrastructure work to install 1,200 towers in remote areas was continuing on a war footing and very soon the base of transmission stations will beestab listed there. Pal said work to install 1,200 new towers will be completed before March 2023.

Notably, in remote regions, people still have to come to the city to complete their internet-related work. In July, the state cabinet decided to ease norms and take nominal charges from mobile phone companies for installing towers in the state. According to the changes made, Rs.50,000 would be taken in areas under development authorities, Rs.25,000 under Nagar Panchayat, Rs.10,000 in other plain areas, and Rs.5,000 in the hills.

Among the villages without mobile phone networks 28 are in the Almora district , 97 in the Bageshwar district , 124 in the Chamoli district, 104 in the Champawat district, 56 in the Dehradun district , 196 in the Pauri district, 6 in the Haridwar district, 60 in Nainital district, 245 in Pithoragarh district, 20 in Ru Rudraprayag district, 114 in Tehri district, 3 in US Nagar district and 148 in Uttarkashi district.

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