About 57,271 villages in the country are yet to be connected with mobile services, Parliament was informed today.

“About 57,271 villages in the country are yet to be connected with mobile services, as per the survey carried out by TERM Cells of Department of Telecommunication,” Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

BSNL has planned to provide connectivity to technically feasible uncovered villages with basic telephone facility by March 31, 2013, he added.

Of the 57,271 villages, Odisha has the highest number of villages uncovered by mobile services (6,734), followed by Chhattisgarh (5,460), Maharashtra (5,394), Jharkhand (5,308) and Uttar Pradesh (5,013).

While Kerala didn’t have a single village uncovered by mobile services, only one village in Delhi remains uncovered.

Landline, WLL services

A total of 13,438 villages in the country are yet to be connected with basic telephone facility (landline and wireless in local loop).

Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of villages without basic telephone facility (landline and WLL) at 2,232 villages, followed by Odisha (1,860), Maharashtra (1,669), Chhattisgarh (1,552) and Gujarat (1,012), Deora said.

There have been delays by private operators as well as by BSNL in launching their mobile services under Shared Infrastructure Scheme of USOF.

Financial penalty

The Minister said financial penalties have been imposed on companies for the delay in rollout of services as per the provisions of the agreement(s) signed with concerned company.

“Apart from above, Reliance Communications (RCom) and Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) switched off their 1,191 mobile Base Transreceiver Stations (BTSs) and 228 USOF supported sites, respectively causing suspension/interruption of mobile services in the concerned areas during November 2010 to February 2011,” he said.

A financial penalty of Rs 4.63 crore has been imposed and recovered from RCom and Rs 1.07 crore from RTL for the period of interruption, in accordance to the provisions of the agreement signed by USOF with these companies.

(This article was published on December 14, 2012)
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