The government has decided to connect 496 villages along the India-China border with IMSAT satellite that will restore connectivity to people living in such remote areas, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Rajya Sabha today.
Replying to queries by members over connectivity issues in Niti valley in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand along the India-China border, he said all digital satellite phone terminals (DSPTs) have been disrupted in these villages and the outposts of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Army and Border Roads Organisation.
This happened after the transponder of NSS-6 Satellite was turned off on May 13 this year due to security concerns.
Mr Prasad said since these are far flung areas and each mountain is connected with the satellite, the process to restore such service is long and cumbersome and involves a lot of capital infusion.
"There is reconfiguration with other satellite and the government has decided to link 496 villages along the India-China border through IMSAT satellite and this includes the villages in Niti Valley," he told the House.
He said the government is providing communication service at cheaper rates to armed forces personnel and they are charged at Rs 1 per minute telephone call instead of Rs 25 per minute.
"The BSNL does this work despite all kinds of problems," he said.
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