Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called for focus on power to electrify villages and setting up towers in remote areas for mobile connectivity in Left-wing extremist (LWE) areas. Singh’s observations, after holding a detailed review of Maoist-affected areas, came following reports that 2,187 mobile towers set up in Maoist-affected areas were working with obsolete technology and were unable to generate intelligence as expected, officials said.
The minister is also learnt to have conveyed to the telecom department to use the latest technology that can support 4G, provide “last mile connectivity” and use optic fibre for the 2,000 mobile towers that will be set up in the red corridor, officials added.
“It was felt that the mobile towers installed in LWE areas do not have bandwidth and security agencies are unable to utilise them,” said an MHA official, adding that tele-density in worst-affected Sukma and Bijapur in Chhattisgarh was only 7 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.
The review of 10 Maoist-affected states was held nearly four months after the attack on security forces in Chhattisgarh in which 25 CRPF personnel had died. Singh urged the state governments to improve electrification. Among 35 worst-affected districts, 48,059 villages have been identified for intensive electrification. “Work has been completed in 18,452 villages… rest… likely to be completed by the end of this year,” an official said.