Slow in sanction and delay in installation of Mobile Towers in Maoist Affected Areas of the State has left Odisha Government worried as connectivity in these areas has become a major problem for the Security Forces and District Administrations.
While Odisha Government has requested for Mobile Towers for 1000 locations in the Red Corridors, Union Government has sanctioned it for only 158 locations in Phase II.
Ministry of Telecommunications has been repeatedly urged by the State Government to speed up sanction and installation of Mobile Towers in Left Wing Extremist (LWE) affected Districts.
MoT has reportedly delayed sanction of Mobile Towers and installation is equally slow, which has resulted in poor connectivity in the Red Corridors.
With establishment of Gurupriya Bridge, road connectivity has improved a lot and now State Administration has scaled up Police Presence and expedited developmental activities in the Cut Off Areas.
People in Cut Off Areas are demanding Mobile Connectivity as it is very poor and people are moving up to trees to talk in their Mobile Phones.
Some of them are also scaling up hill tops to use their Mobiles as there is hardly any Mobile Towers in the vicinity, admit officials.
In Phase I Connectivity Program, 253 Mobile Towers were installed and these Towers are having Low Radiating Antennas with Poor Bandwidth.
There is virtually little or no data facility available in the covered areas of these Mobile Towers.
So setting up of these Mobile Towers have defeated the purpose, admit officials in Malkangiri District.
Now Malkangiri District Administration is proactively pursuing development agenda in Cut Off Areas, however poor telecom connectivity is posing serious problem for the people and officials.
And common people are not getting Mobile Service as these Mobile Towers are installed inside the Campus of Police Stations and Security Forces Camps.
While Odisha in general a deficit area so far Tele Density is concerned for a long time and there is hardly any improvement though Union Government is harping on Mobile Connectivity to all the villages.
Latest Official Statistics reveal that Tele Density of All India Level is 90.34 Percent, while Odisha is having 75.05 Percent Coverage.
Over 11,000 Villages are out of Mobile Connectivity and it continues till date as sanction and setting up of Mobile Towers has taken a back seat in the State, which is one of the major Maoist Affected States.
State Government has requested Ministry of Telecommunications for deployment of additional resources in the Tele Density Deficit State so that there will be improvement in Mobile Connectivity.
Union Government can utilize Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) for Odisha as it requires more coverage is less time.