Govt allows setting up of mobile towers along LoC, IB

Govt allows setting up of mobile towers along LoC, IB

21 August 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: After Pakistani mobile signals were being received in border areas of the country for several years, the Central Government has now removed the bar for the construction of the mobile towers near the Line of Control and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country. While launching Video Services over BSNL fixed telephone lines in the State, Union Minister of State for Telecommunication and Information Technology, Sachin Pilot, told reporters here that signals from across the border were being received in border areas of country and now the Government has changed its earlier policy of bar on constructions of the mobile towers near the LoC and IB. Pilot said that earlier, no mobile towers were allowed in the areas falling within 10 kilometers from LoC and IB. 'Now Government has allowed installation of mobile towers within 500 meters from the LoC and IB', he added. 'It is our priority to provide the best connectivity to the brave people living in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir,' said the Union Minister. He said that towers will be set up in the remote and small villages so as to improve mobile services in these area and also they will be connected with the optical fibre cable for internet connectivity. He said that Government wants state of art mobile services for its border areas and also banking and other related services in the remote areas. The Minister admitted that BSNL has poor connectivity in certain areas of the country but said that this is the network that provides services in small and remote villages where private networks don't operate. Pilot said that the Government has taken up the ambitious project of Rs 20, 000 crore for connectivity of all Panchayats of the country through optical fibre. The Minister earlier reviewed the connectivity related issues in border areas of the State at a meeting attended by officials from State Government, Ministry of Home Affairs, BSNL, Department of Telecom and National Informatics Centre (NIC). 'BSNL would regularly come up with new offerings for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,' said Pilot. He said BSNL planned to increase its presence in the State and spend Rs 55 crore on expansion of the network and services during the current financial year. Pilot said the company would erect 150 new mobile towers this year as against 55 towers installed in the State last year. The BSNL which has more than 1,100 mobile towers in the State at the moment, planned to install 108 wimax towers in the State during the current fiscal, he added. The Minister said village public telephone will soon reach the 100 per cent mark as work is going on to cover the remaining 54 villages in the State. 'At present, 6363 villages out of 6417 inhabited villages in the State are covered under village public telephony,' he added. Pilot said that 267 satellite phones will be made operational in the State for coordination of disaster management efforts during this year while 580 such phones are already operational in the State.