Centre Plans 4G Telecom Connectivity At Over 1,000 Border Outposts: Report
The government is reportedly finalising a Rs 2,000-crore plan to enhance telecom infrastructure in over 1,000 border outposts and intelligence posts.
The proposal to erect 4G telecom towers at paramilitary manned outposts is in final stages of discussion and will be presented to Cabinet for approval soon, Economic Times cited officials as saying.
The plan is currently being refined by the telecom department and the home ministry.
This comes as China has already improved network connectivity for its troops along the Indian border.
According to the ET report, Home ministry has identified border and intelligence posts needing improved network coverage.
The move comes as Union Cabinet recently approved the 'Vibrant Villages Programme' worth Rs 4,800-crore to develop 663 villages along the northern border. The programme also includes a telecom connectivity boost in the border areas.
Further, India has been establishing more border outposts in Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh following the 2020 Galwan clashes, which also raises the need for connectivity.
The Environment Ministry has also approved numerous BOPs near Changthang sanctuary in Ladakh to strengthen strategic installations.
Up until August 2022, strict telecom installation rules existed within 10 km of the border, requiring armed forces approval. However, after a period of inter-ministerial discussion, there is now a clearer path for improved mobile networks in these areas.
In August 2022, the Unified Licence agreement was amended to permit mobile tower network penetration up to 500 m off the border.
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