Question raised in Rajya Sabha on mobile towers in rural areas, 12/03/2020

As per data collected from the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) field units in 2019, it is estimated that 5,69,897 villages out of 5,97,618 inhabited villages in the country are covered by mobile services. State/Union Territory-wise list of number of covered and uncovered villages is given at Annexure. Mobile coverage in the uncovered villages in the country is being provided by the Government and TSPs in a phased manner. National Digital Communication Policy 2018 aims to promote and incentivize deployment of solar and green energy for telecom towers. In order to achieve the objectives of Green Telecom and reduce the carbon footprint, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had issued recommendations on “Approach towards Sustainable Telecommunications”. Government of India has considered TRAI recommendations and set up the procedures for measurement of carbon footprint and implementation of carbon emission reduction targets. Accordingly, directions to the service providers have been issued, which, inter-alia, states that the Government shall consider passing all benefits related to deployment of Renewable Energy Technology (RET) to the service providers as per extant government scheme.