The Central government approved a scheme to ensure 7287 villages in 5 states get 4G internet connectivity. The Union cabinet came to this decision in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Under it, the uncovered villages in 44 districts in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh will be provided with the all-important data services.
As reported by ANI, the press release said, "The project envisages to provide 4G based mobile services in the 7287 uncovered villages of 44 aspirational districts across the said five states at an estimated cost of implementation about ₹6466 crores, including operational expenses for five years."
Enhancing Digital Connectivity
To fulfil the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' objectives, the Cabinet aims to enhance digital connectivity in remote areas to facilitate self-reliance and learning. The work will be given through a bidding process. "The project would be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). It will be completed within 18 months after signing the agreement. The date of completion is likely to be November 23," the statement added.
The data services will facilitate e-governance initiatives. Activities include information dissemination, skill up-gradation and development, disaster management, establishing enterprises and e-commerce facilities, and provisions to support educational institutions in the area, providing employment opportunities.
In addition, Cabinet approved the construction of over 32,000 km of roads under the 'Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in the backward and remote areas. The implementation cost will be ₹33,282 crores. NDTV quoted Union Minister Anurag Thakur, "Areas that were not covered for road connectivity under phases 1 and 2 of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna or the 'Left-Wing Extremism' affected areas and tribal areas will benefit from this. Roads will be built through dense forests."