It is a truth that the villages situated at the border of India-Nepal and India-China have been facing network connectivity issues from a very long time. In order to solve this issue, Uttarakhand government will provide a one-time payment of Rs.40 lakh in exchange for installing a mobile tower in these areas. The strategy was prepared by the information technology department of the state and was given a green signal by the cabinet on Friday.
There are around 250 villages near India-China and India-Nepal border and a large number of them doesn’t have good facilities of mobile network connection. The residents living in the adjoining areas of Nepal use Nepalese sim cards that provide calling and internet facilities. Satellite phones were distributed to gram pradhans of these areas but the non-affordable costs have prevented them from using those phones.
TOI has recently got to know that a large number of villages at the border of Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Pithorgarh districts are facing network connectivity issues. The decision to provide financial aid was taken through consultation with telecom companies who asked for financial help or to cover 60% total cost of the project. Tower installation in villages are normally avoided because of the low density of population that leads to low revenue.
The department of telecommunications has stated last month that a large number of projects were being planned to provide proper network connectivity in remote areas. They said that a tender for 354 uncovered villages at remote and border areas have been finalised and is being implemented in 144 villages at the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and the villages situated at Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. A “Tourism Incentive Coupon” scheme has been approved by the Uttarakhand cabinet for people visiting Uttarakhand for three or more days. The coupon will provide a discount of Rs.1,000 on hotel bill for the visitors.
The cabinet asked to make full refunds to the tourists whose bookings were cancelled at Corbett Tiger Reserve because of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to state government, an amount of Rs.1.85 crore will be refunded. A proposal on the suggestion of defence ministry for increasing the helipad area of Kedarnath has been approved by Uttarakhand cabinet. The Uttarakhand Purv Sainik Kalyan Nigam Limited or UPNL which is a government agency that hires former defence personnel and their families will be able to provide jobs to all youths.