<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To boost intelligence gathering in Naxal-affected areas, the Department of Telecom (DoT) wants to upgrade 2G towers to 4G and has written to the Union Home Ministry seeking specifications for the same.In the letter accessed by DNA, DoT has stated that 2G telecom towers, 2,199 in number, are breathing their last. The issue was discussed at a recent review meeting of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with the chief ministers of Maoist-affected areas and it was decided that upgraded technology would be provided to counter left wing extremists (LWE) in the country.”Since provision of data connectivity has certain security implications, it is requested that MHA may kindly give their comments regarding the inclusion of specifications for data connectivity (2G/4G) for phase-II of the project,” DoT Administrator Sanjay Singh said in his communiqué to MHA.The DoT administrator further said that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh wants mobile towers in Phase-II with 4G capability in Bastar region.According to the Home Ministry, there are 106 districts across 10 States, which have been identified by the government as Naxal-affected districts across states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.In a high-level meeting in May this year, the DoT was directed by the Home Ministry to examine the issue of up-gradation and serviceability of mobile towers in LWE areas.PROJECT APPROVALThe total cost in the second phase is expected to be Rs 4,396 cr
The project was first approved by the Cabinet in June 2013 after a Maoist attack in Bastar, in which 27 people, including senior Congress leaders, were killed.
It was sent for Cabinet approval again due to change in cost structure and was cleared in August 2014.

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DNA Exclusive: DoT seeks data upgradation for better intel gathering