For the first time in India, solar power will be extensively used to run 2,200 mobile towers to be set up in nine Naxal-affected areas. The mobile towers, to be set up at a cost of Rs 3,216 crore, will be operated without any support from electricity or generators.
A technology developed indigenously by an Indian vendor will feed the towers with solar power to function normally in addition to charging the battery simultaneously.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has been pushing for installation of mobile towers in Naxal-hit areas since 2010. The absence of mobile services has made it tough for security forces to operate and get timely help in critical situations, leading to loss of lives in some incidents.
The Government of India has been planning to set mobile towers in naxal affected areas for a long time now.
The announced project is expected to be financed through ‘Universal Service Obligation Fund’ which has been created by levying a duty on all telecom service providers. As the name suggest USOF aims to provide universal access to telecom services especially in rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices.The technology vendor is expected to be (guesstimate) Vihaan Networks Ltd, makers of solar powered GSM and broadband network which goes by the name of WorldGSM.
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