Chief Minister Pema Khandu today emphasised on robust telecom infrastructure in Northeast as prerequisite to the development of region and also as catalyst to attract investment in the region.
He was addressing a review meeting of implementation of BharatNet and other major telecom projects in Northeast chaired by Minister of State (Independent) for Communications, Manoj Sinha.
“IT sector will play a major role in achieving Prime Minister’s vision for New India by 2022. For that we need robust communication network,” the Chief Minister emphasized and urged all the NE states to resolve issues of ROW, land for mobile towers etc to facilitate telecom projects in NE region.
He thanked the Union Minister for calling the meeting at Guwahati for resolving issues regarding telecom projects in NE region.
The Chief Minister informed about the several innovations brought by the Arunachal government to improve digital connectivity in the state for effective governance and for convenience to the people for easy access to public services.
He informed that Arunachal will soon implement the 3-tier coordination system in the state, which will function at three different levels – Deputy Commissioners, Secretary (IT) level and Chief Secretary for implementation of telecom projects in the state.
He appreciated the Union Ministry’s decision to dedicate a nodal officer of DoT for liasioning of all the telecom projects with state govts that will present a holistic and complete picture of connectivity and will also coordinate with various agencies such as BSNL, TCIL, RailTel etc.
The Chief Minister said the 2G network provided by the installed towers have become outdated and requested the Union Minister for change in technology to 4G. He thanked Sinha for approving the setting up of 1893 towers in Arunachal under Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for Rs 1739 crore, to cover 2805 villages and 149 towers for national highway coverage.
The Chief Minister gave a call to all private telecom operators that Arunachal govt will incentivize them for setting up of facilities in sparsely populated districts and villages especially in remote border and also in the insurgency affected districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding. The incentives shall be in the form of cross subsidization of land rates for towers at other places, he informed.
He thanked the Union Minister for assuring to provide satellite media connectivity through through VSATs in all gram panchayats. He also thanked the Minister for giving the go ahead for overhead installation of Optical Fiber Cables (OFC) as it is being affected by road widening works.
The Chief Minister also thanked the Union Minister for launching the Asthamangal project implemented by BSNL to provide alternate bandwidth to all State HQs. Under this project, state capital Itanagar will get connectivity through PGCIL of 120 Gbps.
The Chief Minister further informed that to support and facilitate establishment of telecom projects in the state, the state govt will bring out Right of Way policy to all roads managed by state govt, central govt, local bodies and PSUs. He also informed to have mobile tower policy to facilitate land for mobile towers.
IT Minister of Assam Keshav Mahanta, DONER Secretary Naveen Verma, DoT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan and IT Secretaries of all NE states also attended the meeting.