The district administration will reportedly soon be setting up 200 cell towers in the rural areas of Visakha Agency. The move is in a bid to curb the Maoists as well as to address several other issues.
Other than addressing the Maoist movement, the move being made to establish communication in tribal welfare schools, various departments in the agency and other mandals. In the last two years, 10 cell towers have been put in place in the agency. Some of them have been placed near police stations or outposts located at Rallagedda and Rudakota.
The union government has approved the setting up of these cell towers in naxal infested states way back in 2013. When service providers expressed scepticism and brought up the challenge of facing Maoist attacks, the AP Police came forward and provided space at their police stations in Visakha Agency, Khammam and East Godavari.
BSNL has so far installed 2,200 towers in 10 Maoist affected states at a cost of Rs 3,570 crore. The network they put up succeeded at connecting 12,700 villages with the help of 40 lakh mobile connections in the 90 districts of these 10 states. The cell towers are also used for the biometric attendance system and web-casting.
Hence, the district administration’s plan to set up cell towers wherever the need be. The agency areas of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and East and West Godavari districts. The Maoists are at the moment reportedly regrouping to fight against bauxite mining and other developmental projects.
Private operators are yet to come forward for this job, fearing threat to both life and property. Tackling 53 sites first, work has already commenced in 51 places and 30 of them have already become operational.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Annual Report 2015-16, Maoist violence in the state has gone up by 94% compared to the previous years. Reportedly, the CPI has been extending direct support to locals against mining in Visakhapatnam Agency and the construction of Polavaram project. Senior officials now hope that the expansion of mobile networks to far flung villages will benefit the police in tackling with the Maoists.