Telecom operators intend to install over 57,500 towers for mobile connectivity in rural areas during the current financial year, Parliament was informed on Wednesday. "There is plan to install 57,559 towers for mobile services in the rural areas during the financial year 2019-20 by telecom service providers," Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
To another query, the Minister said as per data available for 2018, 5.54 lakh villages are covered with mobile services, while 43,088 villages are not covered.
He added that connectivity in uncovered villages is being provided in a phased manner.
"The reasons for not having mobile services in all villages include, inter-alia, remote and tough terrain, areas diversely located with scattered population and commercially non-viable operations. However, mobile coverage in the uncovered villages is being provided in a phased manner," the Minister said.
'BharatNet' project is being implemented to offer broadband connectivity to all 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) in India.
"As on date, 3,37,515 km Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has been laid, thereby connecting 1,28,870 GPs by OFC. A total of 120,341 GPs are service ready," he pointed out.