Neighbours have cell towers close to border: minister

April 21st, 2008 - 5:35 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Some of India’s neighbours have set up cell phone towers against established norms of security, union Minister for Communication and Information Technology A. Raja informed the Lok Sabha Monday. “The bordering countries are putting up cell phone towers near the border. Here landline phone alone can be used for security reasons. The matter is being taken up with the home ministry as well,” Raja said.

He was replying to a question on why no action has been taken against mobile service providers near the Indian border where the network of the neighbouring country becomes active. The countries specifically named were China, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Answering another question, Raja said 35 percent of the country is still not covered by the mobile network. Of the 560,000 villages in India, 540,000 have been covered, he said.

“The process to put up 11,000 towers to cover the remaining areas has been started with the floating of tenders. Out of the Rs.14,000 crore (Rs.140 billion) provided for this purpose, Rs.9,900 crore (Rs.99 billion) is yet to be spent,” Raja said.

Many members complained that the government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) network did not work in their constituencies. “The technology upgradation was on in March and hence this problem could have occurred. By May, the problem will be solved,” Raja assured the house.

Samajwadi Party member Rewati Raman Singh said it was sad that many BSNL subscribers were moving to private service providers because the network did not meet the standards.

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