Guwahati, December 20,2018:
East Arunachal constituency’s representative at the Lok Sabha, Ninong Ering, raised a pertinent issue at the Lok Sabha session on Wednesday.
Ering posed the following question to Manoj Sinha, Minister of Communications: “I wish to say that in Arunachal Pradesh and other North-eastern states, the weather is not good and work can be conducted only during winders. Since we had signed an MoU and you had assured that you would give us 2800 telecom towers, work on only five of those has been started. Tell us what you intend to do in the future.”
In reply, Sinha replied: “We we introduced three schemes for North-east and we are spending 8,500 crore rupees in the region for telecom connectivity. One scheme is being undertaken by BSNL in two Assam districts and Arunachal. The second is being undertaken by Bharti Airtel in other North eastern states and in areas in proximity to the national highway. The last scheme is being implemented by Bharti Airtel in Meghalaya where they have already erected three towers. Regarding Arunachal, some people have registered a PIL in the Supreme Court and we are awaiting the decision. As soon as the decision is made, we will commence work without delay.”
In retaliation, Ering said: “The (communications) minister had assured the North eastern states of 15,000 crore, but we have remote areas like Kvito and Gailing where China had breached borders. In absence of mobile network, they should at least be provided with VSAT. I had applied for a VSAT, but they said I have to procure an NoC from the Home Ministry. Since the Home Minister is from Arunachal, why do we need NoC? Are we not citizens of India?”
The Communications Minister replied: “In North East, 19,300 towers have been erected of which 5600 are near the border. Recently, in a discussion with the Home Minoistry we have decided that we will construct towers in borders as well. We have made a report with the TCIL and submitted it to the Home Ministry. As soon as they give us a go ahead, we will start the construction.”