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Over 4,000 mobile towers in 96 districts: Cabinet’s big connectivity push

4G and broadband facilities will provide security and empower people.

Government has approved a Ministry Home Affairs proposal to set up 4,072 mobile tower locations in 10 states affected by Left Wing Extremism. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Phase-II project covering 96 districts in 10 states will cost Rs. 7,330 crore with support from the Universal Service Obligation Fund.

The Narendra Modi government at the Center has been constantly working towards eliminating the Naxal problem in the country. Operations against left wing extermists have been going on, side by side, with development and infrastructure projects in the affected areas. There has been a special focus on building infrastructure like roads, bridges, mobile towers, school buildings, anganwadi centers and primary health centers.
The Home Ministry says that only 90 districts are affected by Maoist violence, of which the number of badly affected districts was 35, which has now reduced to just 30. 3 districts of Jharkhand and 2 districts of Bihar are no longer affected by Maoist violence. 44 districts have been declared free of Naxal influence or their presence is negligible.

Compared to 2013, there had been a 20% decline in Naxal incidents in 2017, and the numbers of people killed in such violence also decreased by 34%. Of the 90 Naxal affected districts, 32 have not seen a single incident of violence in 2017.

The Cabinet also approved a Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for the North East in Meghalaya at a total estimated project cost of Rs 3911 crore. It will be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund. It will provide 2G and 4G mobile coverage in uncovered areas of Meghalaya and complete coverage along National Highways in Meghalaya. This will greatly enhance mobile penetration in the state.

All in all government is not only increasing mobile penetration in Naxal-affected areas but is also improving the socio-economic development of people in remote parts of the country.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Cabinet today approved the proposal to bring an Ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Cabinet has also approved MoU between India and Turkey on trade in poppy seeds to ensure quick and transparent processing for import of poppy seeds from Turkey.

Cabinet also approved sports university in Manipur.

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has also approved waiver of Penal Interest on government loans advanced to Visakhapatnam Port Trust & Paradip Port Trust.

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