The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of an additional 4,072 mobile towers in 96 districts in 10 states affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) on Wednesday.

Supported by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), the total cost of the project, which is in its second phase, will be Rs 7,330 crore.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has identified all the locations in the inhabited uncovered areas in LWE region.

While the highest number of towers, 1054, will be erected in 21 districts of Jharkhand, 1028 towers will be set up in 16 districts of Chhattisgarh and 483 towers will come up in 18 districts of Odisha. The three states are the worst affected in LWE violence.

Mobile connectivity will not only boost economic activities in the region but also greatly help security personnel.

Union IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “In the first phase we have given only 2G connection, which was only for calling. But in the second phase we will give 4G through which people can call and also explore data.”

He said that people in the LWE areas will not only explore 4G and broadband for security but also for empowerment.

“It will give impetus to the e-Governance activities in the backward and LWE affected area with the availability of digital mobile connectivity,” an official statement said.

The LWE phase-l project for providing the mobile services using 2G technology entailed a cost of Rs 4,080.78 crore for setting up 2,335 towers.