Narendra Modi’s mobile connectivity plan for the north east on hold as bidding firms bicker

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a plan that aimed at providing 2G mobile connectivity to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh back in 2014. The plan was estimated to cost around Rs 1,500 crores including infrastructure like 2,817 telecom towers that would cover about 4,118 villages. The entire plan was cleared by the cabinet back in 2014 but the surprising thing to note is that it is yet to take off from the ground despite BSNL floating tenders in this regard in April 2016.

To put things in perspective, the financial bidding for the entire project is yet to take place. This means that there is no active work going on at the moment for the companies and firms that are interested in working for the project.

The reason for the delay is the constant fighting between the five firms involved in the bidding process. These include Vihaan Network, Toshniwal Enterprises Controls, Fibcom, ITI and Himachal Futuristic Communications (HFCL). The technical bid has already taken place and the fighting between these firms pushed the government to hold the testing of equipment twice.

The government was pushed into testing the entire equipment set again on account of a number of complaints about the application process and the paperwork in regards to the application. Financial Express detailed in a report that VNL and HFCL both cleared the technical rounds both in the first and in the second testing.

Ninong Ering, a member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh has written several letters to Manoj Sinha, the current telecom minister about the progress of the project. Sinha reassured Ering about the progress of the project.

Published Date: Apr 12, 2017 04:44 pm | Updated Date: Apr 12, 2017 04:44 pm