Visakhapatnam: As many as 2,068 villages in the Eastern Ghats along with some in Andhra Pradesh, covering nine districts, do not have mobile network services.
The information was revealed by Minister of Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing a question by Rajya Sabha MP V Vijayasai Reddy. The minister added that the reasons for lack of mobile services include remote and tough terrain, areas diversely located with a scattered population, and commercially non-viable operations.
The minister also said that the government and TSPs are providing mobile coverage in such villages in a phased manner. Under Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Phase-II project, the government has approved the installation of 346 mobile towers for providing mobile connectivity in Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh covering nine districts.
At present, according to the minister’s reply, out of 8,963 villages of Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) provides mobile services to 5,967 villages. BSNL has informed that mobile coverage in the remaining villages is being delivered based on techno-commercial viability and availability of funds.
It is also learnt that mobile network services are not available in many villages in the Vizag Agency. Earlier, the state government was trying to provide landline services through fibre net.