NEW DELHI, Dec 9 - The Centre has sanctioned a Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) scheme to provide mobile phone coverage in two districts of Assam namely, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao, and Arunachal Pradesh under the Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for the North Eastern Region.
A Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved of the proposal. The project envisages mobile phone coverage in 2,374 villages, including 691 in the two districts of Assam and 1,683 in Arunachal Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 2,029 crore, including operational expenses for five years.
The USOF-sponsored project is targeted to be completed by December, 2022. Works related to provision of 4G mobile service in identified uncovered villages will be awarded to parties through open competitive bidding as per the existing USOF procedures.
The provision of mobile service in remote and difficult areas of Arunachal Pradesh and the two districts of Assam will enhance digital connectivity for self-reliance, facilitate learning, disseminate information and knowledge, and upgrade and develop skill. Disaster management, e-governance, establishment of enterprises and e-commerce facilities, provision of adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing and job opportunities are other benefits that will accrue from the project.