The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has cancelled the tender for the provision of much-awaited mobile services in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI).
“As per the approval of competent authority, the tender (ANI) is hereby cancelled,” the department in a notification Tuesday said, adding that it was meant to offer seamless mobile services in identified uncovered villages along with national highways in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands region.
The tender was based on a detailed project report (DPR), prepared by the state-owned Telecom Consultants of India Limited (TCIL), and that has been extended at least 10 times since its approval in November 2014.
The tender was again floated on June 4, 2018, under the Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) with the cost overrun from Rs 262.91 crore to Rs 342.4 crore, but has failed to attract many bidders.
The initiatives to provide telephony services to uncovered villages are funded by the Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund, a Rs 50,000 crore strong reserve.
However, the Telecom Equipment Promotion Council (Tepc) said that it wants the Aruna Sundararajan-headed department to give preference to home grown companies in government-funded programs.