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Telecom panel may allow mobile network in Maoist-hit areas

Telecom panel may allow mobile network in Maoist-hit areas
During a recent meeting chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh, public sector undertaking BSNL was pulled up for delaying setting up of mobile network in the Naxal-hit areas, official sources said.
The meeting saw the participants expressing surprise over the inability of BSNL for even starting the already erected 393 towers in the region, the sources said.

The matter will come up tomorrow before the Telecom Commission, the first one to be held in the new government.

The project has been delayed for more than three years because of internal fight within Department of Telecom (DoT) raising concerns among security agencies who had taken up the matter at the highest level of government.

Security agencies had urged the authorities concerned to speed up phone connectivity at nearly 2,200 locations across nine states.

In another move, the government may open up seamless 2G cover in northeast, except Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam, to private players.

However, the government may press for a pre-condition to set up telecom manufacturing equipment within northeastern states for any telecom company bidding for that region, the sources said.
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