Villages in the remote and border areas will be on par with the rest of the country in terms of mobile connectivity and services

Union Minister for Telecom and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad has said the government is working on a Rs 337 crore project to provide mobile services in 354 uncovered villages including those belonging to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Talking to media persons on Monday he said Rs 337 crore tender has been floated for the same. “This project will include 87 uncovered villages of Jammu and Kashmir. After completion of this project, there will not be a single uncovered village left in Jammu and Ladakh for mobile services,” he was quoted by Deccan Herald as saying.

The project also includes 144 border villages in Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. A total of 7,287 villages in 44 aspirational districts in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh will also be covered.

The Union minister confirmed that the government is also installing VSATS (Very Small Aperture Terminals) to provide satellite phone services to soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh so that they are able to connect with their families. Satellite-based DSPTs (Digital Satellite Phone Terminals) are also being provided at 1,347 sites for Army, BRO, BSF, CRPF, ITBP and SSB among others, out of which 183 sites have already been commissioned.

Furthermore, the telecom department is working on providing mobile connectivity in villages in 24 aspirational districts in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. As per the ministry’s data, which was presented in Parliament in February, about 27,721 villages are not covered by mobile services.

Read the full report in Deccan Herald