India’s Cabinet has approved long-delayed plans to install additional mobile towers in areas affected by left wing extremism, the Economic Times reports. Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told press that the project was approved at the request of security forces and citizens staying in the affected areas. The project will see the installation of 1,836 new towers in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkand, Maharashtra West Bengal, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, and is expected to cost around INR35.68 billion (USD586.83 million). The ministry of home affairs has been pushing for improvements to mobile infrastructure in Naxalite-Maoist affected areas since 2010, as the lack of mobile services has made it difficult for security forces to respond quickly. The Naxalite insurgency began in the 1960s and is ongoing in around 60 districts across nine states with the rebels most active in poorly developed rural areas.
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