The already fledgling Maoist movement is up for a tough time ahead with union home ministry and department of telecom (DoT) managing to set up 1,356 of the 2199 mobile towers sanctioned in key Maoist affected districts of ten states.Though the plan to construct mobile towers was sanctioned way back in 2011, it failed to take off because of several glitches encountered by the DoT that finally roped in BSNL to build the towers because of cost overruns in 2013.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the project could finally be launched in earnest in August 2014 after the union cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi gave its approval to Rs3568 crore proposal. The cabinet gave DoT one year to compete the project.While the rest of the towers will be installed by March end this year, the union home ministry has sanctioned 175 additional towers to make mobile penetration denser in the Maoist hit areas in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.In the first phase, towers have been installed in 35 worst Naxal-hit districts and majority of them, about 700, are in Jharkhand.The idea behind construction of mobile towers was to give better communication facility not only for the para-military personnel deployed in jungles who remain cut off from their families but also to the tribal living in remote inaccessible areas.Besides, the security establishment also thinks that it would help weed out Maoists by ensuring eavesdropping.As the Maoists had blown up over 200 mobile towers claiming that police were being tipped off about their movements and locations by informers through mobile phones, all the new towers are being installed either inside police stations or camps of paramilitary forces.The mobile towers are powered with solar energy due to frequent interruption of electricity. In some areas there is power connection.The funds for the project are being provided from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), a corpus created by the government through raising the Universal Access Levy (UAL).The purpose of levying the tax is to provide telecom services in rural and remote areas as these areas generate lower revenue due to lower population density, low income and lack of commercial activity.

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Mobile towers in Maoist hotbeds to give sleepless nights to Ultras