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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Focus on tribal, LWE-hit areas as Cabinet okays rural connectivity boost

As per one of the decisions, 7,287 villages from 44 aspirational districts in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha will get new telecom towers. The project will cost Rs 6,466 crore and is expected to be completed within 18 month.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
November 18, 2021 2:56:49 am
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur during the cabinet briefing at NMC, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. (PTI)

The Cabinet Wednesday approved and extended schemes to improve road and telecom connectivity in villages, especially in tribal regions and areas affected by left-wing extremism (LWE), Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said.

As per one of the decisions, 7,287 villages from 44 aspirational districts in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha will get new telecom towers. The project will cost Rs 6,466 crore and is expected to be completed within 18 month.

Thakur said the villages will get 4G connectivity and be able to access e-governance facilities.

In the second decision the Cabinet approved the continuation of the phases 1 and 2 of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, till September 2022 for completion of the roads and bridge works that are yet to be finished under the first two phases. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs also approved continuation of ‘Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas’ upto March 2023.

“Areas that were not covered for road connectivity under phases 1 and phase 2 of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana or the Left-Wing Extremism affected areas and the tribal areas are going to benefit,” said Thakur.

He said the decisions will most benefit the villages that have tribal populations.

The cost of the projects will be Rs 33,822 crore, of which the Centre will bear around Rs 22,978 crore, the minister said. Counting the cost for Phase 3 of PGSY, the government said Rs. 1,12,419 crore, including state share, will likely be incurred from 2021-22 to 2024-25.

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