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55,669 villages yet to get mobile telephonic services: Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi: Mobile telephonic services still hasn’t reached 55,669 villages in India, as the government informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

At September-end, the teledensity at rural and urban levels stood at 48.79 percent and 152.36 percent, respectively, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, the minister for communications and information technology.

“541,939 villages out of total 597,608 villages in the country are already covered with mobile services, leaving only 55,669 villages ie. 9.31 percent without coverage,” said Prasad during Question Hour.

Prasad informed that the reason for this shortage, despite the government’s endeavor to ensure telecom connectivity, is because the teledensity level is determined by the consumer’s purchasing ability.

“The increase in rural teledensity has gathered momentum in recent times but the wide gap between rural and urban teledensity can be explained by the difference in purchasing power of rural and urban consumers,” he said.

As per the National Telecom Policy objectives, rural teledensity will be increased to 70 percent and 100 percent by 2017 and 2020 respectively.

Several steps are being taken in this regard and “2,199 mobile towers are being set up in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states with a total estimated cost of Rs 3,567.58 crores,” said the Communications Minister.

As of November 30, 2015, 1,134 mobile towers were in working order.(image: theguardian)

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