Panaji, July 7 (Indus Prism) Following complains from students living in remote villages about lack of adequate connectivity hampering their online school and college classes, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday announced fresh incentives for telecom companies to set up towers and related infrastructure in Goa’s hinterland that is dotted by blindspots.
According to fresh amendments to the Goa Telecom Infrastructure Policy 2020, which were cleared by the state cabinet on Wednesday, companies setting up towers in rural areas will only have to pay 10 per cent of the monthly rent for a period of five years and 25 per cent of the rentals after the first five year period.
Currently, mobile companies have to shell out Rs 50,000 per month to set up mobile telephony towers in government property.
“Those who want to install towers in rural areas this year, will only have to pay 10 percent of the rent for the first five years. No one is willing to set up towers in remote villages right now. Government has fixed rent at only 10 percent for the first five years. After that it will be 25 per cent,” Sawant said.
Currently 144 applications for setting up mobile towers are pending before the state government.
The state government came up with the Goa Telecom Infrastructure Policy 2020, amid opposition by local residents over setting up of mobile towers in the state. The policy facilitates prompt processing of applications for setting up mobile towers on government property.
Ever since the pandemic forced schools and other educational institutions to switch to online mode, students of several schools living in rural areas had complained about poor connectivity issues, which forced them to walk several miles to the nearest spot where range was adequate.