Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnav on Sunday said that the Center will soon install around 4000 mobile towers at various places in Odisha. Addressing a press conference held here, Vaishnav said that there are about 6,000 villages in Odisha. Mobiles are out of connectivity due to a lack of mobile towers.
He said that in December last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved the proposal to install mobile towers at 3,933 sites in the state. He said that one site would cover more than one village. There is a clear instruction from the Prime Minister that not a single village in Odisha should remain untouched by mobile connectivity. PM has asked us to conduct a survey and come out with a cabinet note so that no village is left behind. We call this Mission Purvodaya.
Modi government is reviving BSNL
The minister said that the Modi government is reviving BSNL, which went bankrupt during the UPA government. For the first time, BSNL has come to the level of operating profit during the last year. This happened because Prime Minister Modi had first approved a package of Rs 90,000 crore for the revival of BSNL and MTNL in 2019. Now again this year Rs 45,000 crore has been allocated for the two telecom companies to rise to the next higher level.
Also, the Prime Minister has given instructions to develop 4G and 5G technology in India. He pointed out that 4G technology has already been developed and is in the testing phase, while 5G technology for both phone and radio networks will be developed soon.
The Odisha state government has been demanding the centre to move ahead faster with strengthening the mobile connectivity so that the development in the state can take place faster. Chauhan noted that Wi-Fi hotspots had been set up by the center in over 2,511-gram panchayats in Odisha until December 31, 2021. The Phase-II of the BaratNet project is being implemented by the Odisha government, the minister said.
The new mobile towers in the state are certainly going to benefit the people living in the rural areas of Odisha and help with the overall development of the state. It would ultimately add to India’s economy.
Rs 9734 crore allocated for the development of railways in Odisha
On the allocation in the Union Budget 2022-23 for the development of railways in Odisha, Vaishnav said the state has been sanctioned more funds under the BJP government at the Center than under the UPA regime. The average annual budget allocation for Railways in the state of Odisha during 2009-14 was about Rs 800 crore per annum. He said that this allocation has been increased to Rs 4,126 crore per annum during 2014-19.
The minister said that in this budget, the government has allocated the historic highest amount of Rs 9,734 crore for the development of railways in Odisha. He said that 12 railway stations in Odisha will be upgraded. Earlier, the minister paid floral tributes to famous singer Lata Mangeshkar at the Odisha BJP office here. Lata passed away on Sunday morning.