Courtesy: The Arunachal Times

The Central Government has approved a comprehensive strategy to implement BharatNet in the north-eastern region.

Under the scheme, all uncovered gram panchayats in the North-east will be connected by broadband.

Altogether 4989 GPs in six states – Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura – will be linked through broadband connectivity on satellite media by December 2018.

This was disclosed at a review meeting held in Itanagar on Thursday.

The meeting discussed implementation of BharaNet and other major telecom projects in the region, which was attended by Union MoS for Communications (in-charge) Manoj Sinha.

As many as  6994 towers will be set up to provide connectivity to 8621 villages and along the national highways, at a cost of Rs 5336 crore.

An MoU has been signed between BSNL and the USO Fund to set up 2817 mobile towers in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam, while the work of setting up 2004 towers in six states was already initiated by Bharti Airtel in December 2017 and will be completed in 18 months.

The Union Minister said the north-eastern region is accorded the highest priority by the Centre ‘as is evident from these projects with a total outlay of more than Rs 10,500 crore.’

He requested the Arunachal Pradesh government to provide full support for providing suitable sites for towers, along with RoW facilitation, in order to overcome the shortcomings of telecom connectivity.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu has assured the central minister to work with the telecom department to complete the digital connectivity projects in the State at the earliest.

The event also marked the launch of mobile connectivity to unconnected villages in the north-eastern region; launch of satellite connectivity to GPs under BharatNet; and unveiling of vision document of Ashtamangal Phase-II.

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