The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the provision of a Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) scheme for providing mobile coverage in two districts of Assam, namely Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao, under the Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for North Eastern Region (NER).

The project envisages providing mobile coverage to 2374 uncovered villages — 1683 in Arunachal Pradesh and 691 in two districts of Assam — at an estimated cost of implementation of about Rs 2,029 crore including operational expenses for five years, as per an official release.

The project, which will be funded by USOF, is targeted to be completed by December 2022.

The work-related to provision of 4G mobile services in identified uncovered villages will be awarded through an open competitive bidding process as per extant USOF procedures.

The provisioning of mobile services in the remote and difficult uncovered areas of Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam will enhance digital connectivity useful for self-reliance, facilitate learning, dissemination of information and knowledge, skill upgradation and development, disaster management, e-governance initiatives, the establishment of enterprises and e-commerce facilities.

It will also enhance the provision of adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing and availability of job opportunities and fulfilling the vision of Digital India promoting domestic manufacturing and fulfilling the objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat. (ANI)