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3678 villages in Northeast remain beyond tele-network
Published on 26 Aug. 2008 11:32 PM IST
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Altogether 3678 villages of Northeast still remain uncovered from telecommunication network even after four years of merger agreement between Department of Telecommunication and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to connect all the remote villages with tele-link. According to a document, 8931 villages in Assam, 1957 in Meghalaya, 876 in Manipur, 646 in Arunachal Pradesh, 96 in Mizoram, 75 in Tripura and 28 in Nagaland have not been connected with telecommunication network. Talking to UNI here Tripura’s Information Technology minister Tapan Chakraborty said following sustain pressure from Northeast, the Union government had decided to provide Village Public Telephones (VPTs) in about 54700 uncovered villages under Bharat Nirman Programme through subsidy support from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The latest decision of the state owned BSNL, it would provide telephones to five and half lakh villages across the country and the telecom giant has also brought 30,500 villages under the reach of Broadband. The scheme covers all villages except those having population of less than 100, those lying in deep forests and those affected with insurgency, Mr Chakraborty said and added that it would carry out under agreements signed by DOT with BSNL in November 2004. Provision of VPTs is included as one of activities under the Centre’s Bharat Nirman Programme. About 5000 remote villages would be provided with VPT using satellite technology- Digital Satellite Phone Terminals (DSPTs), which were initially proposed to be provided on DSPTs, would be delivered through the wireless coverage now available in these villages on account of network expansion.

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