The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the provision of a Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) Scheme for providing mobile coverage in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam – Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao.

The provision has been approved under the Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for North Eastern Region (NER).

The project envisages providing mobile coverage to 2,374 uncovered villages (1,683 in Arunachal Pradesh and 691 in two districts of Assam) at an estimated cost of implementation about Rs.2,029 crore including operational expenses for five years.

The project would be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund. The project is targeted to be completed by December 2022.

The work, related to the provision of 4G mobile services in identified uncovered villages will be awarded through an open competitive bidding process as per extant USOF procedures.

Officials said the provisioning of mobile services in the remote and difficult uncovered areas of Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam will enhance digital connectivity useful for self-reliance, facilitate learning, dissemination of information and knowledge.

“This will work for skill upgradation and development, disaster management, e-governance initiatives, establishment of enterprises and e-commerce facilities, provision of adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing and availability of job opportunities and fulfilling the vision of Digital India promoting domestic manufacturing and fulfilling the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” the government said.

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