Meeting presided by Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine decides to make arrangements for smooth conduct of online education in remote areas
A meeting presided by Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine on Thursday decided to enhance mobile coverage network of BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) and make arrangements for the smooth conduct of online education in remote areas of Idukki district.
The Minister directed speeding up the process of sharing mobile coverage in areas where private service providers lack network access but BSNL has its towers. Reliance Jio has already applied for gaining coverage in 11 places where it currently has no network reach.
The chief general manager of BSNL has issued directions to the officer concerned to take immediate decision in this regard. Jio too has submitted an application to the Kanan Devan Hills Plantation (KDHP) Ltd to set up 14 towers in the plantation areas of Munnar.
It was informed in the meeting that following setting up of 3G facilities at Rajamala, network coverage improved. Land owners have evinced interest in providing land for installing mobile towers in Vattavada, Makkuvally, Manayathadam, Kaithapara and Samiyarkudy. The requests will be cleared soon after verification of land documents. The lack of network coverage not only affected online classes but also the registration COVID-19 vaccination.
Dean Kuriakose, MP, who attended the meeting, said that mobile network coverage in Idukki under BSNL was dogged by a number of issues, including shortage of staff, lack of timely upgrade and fund allocation. He said that in Mankulam grama panchayat, 12 out of 13 wards lacked coverage.
District Collector H. Dinesan said that the process of clearing land applications could be done after receiving an agreement from the land owners.
Representatives of Vodafone-Idea said that they were ready to erect more towers in areas where the coverage was poor. However, in certain locations, permission of the Forest Department was required for laying fibre cables, they said.
A representative of Airtel said that the company had 116 towers in the district and is ready to set up more.
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