The government has approved provision of an additional 156 mobile towers in LWE affected areas with subsidy support of Rs 275 crore from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
The project is being funded through the USOF corpus formed in 2002 to facilitate rural telephony by way of charging universal access levy.
BSNL has written several letters to theDoT in the past few months, expressing apprehensions that third-party firms could lose interest in deploying networks in these sensitive areas if payments are delayed.
“We have written to DoT to pay around Rs 250 crore and expect the funds to be released this month,” BSNL chairman AnupamShrivastavasaid. The payments relate to extension of tower sites, he said.
The home ministry has given the go-ahead to the project, with an outlay of Rs 3,567.58 crore including maintenance for five years for 1,836 sites in addition to 363 existing sites.In December 2016, 2,185 sites were up and running, comprising 1,829 new and 356 existing sites.