BJD demands improvement in tele density, internet connectivity in Odisha to get benefit of 5G service

Bhubaneswar, Jan 5 (Agency) The ruling BJD while welcoming the launch of the 5G service network in Odisha on Thursday said it should not be only a publicity stunt . BJD MP and party National Spokesperson Amar Patnaik told a press conference here that the union government should concentrate more on improving tele-density and internet connectivity in the rural areas of Odisha,more particularly in the 10 tribal dominated districts so that benefits of 5G technology are available to those who deserve it the most.

He said the state has been facing serious issues of deficit in tele-density, internet density and services particularly in the rural areas. Odisha , Patnaik said, will cooperate with the Centre on the launch of the 5G services for its successful implementation but it will not address the core issues of these deficits, particularly in the rural areas . He said as per the latest TRAI report, the overall tele-density of Odisha is 75.23 percent which is within the bottom five of all Indian States. Even North-east has higher tele- density at 77.98 percent and J & K at 88.18 percent . The BJD MP said since the rural tele-density in Odisha is only 62.73 percent, the benefits will come only to urban areas and not to rural areas.Similarly, internet subscription for 100 people in the rural areas of Odisha stands at 34.51 percent and 88.98 percent in urban areas. Out of 310 Gram Panchayats in Kalahandi district alone, 81 Gram Panchayats do not have internet connectivity, the BJD leader said.

He further said seven of the eight districts of KBK region are a part of Aspirational districts of Niti Aayog but most of these areas suffer even lower tele-density despite having historical backwardness. Out of 51,311 villages in the state, 11,000 villages do not have mobile connectivity of which 10,000 villages come under LWE affected areas. 6278 villages in Odisha are still without any mobile access or connectivity – the largest number in the country. As for the quality of even the existing internet services, people in Odisha have to climb trees or climb up mountains to connect to telecom networks, forgetting about digital services, he said. As many as 2500 mobile based towers will be required to provide coverage to uncovered villages in the state. But only 488 have been sanctioned as of now which means 2000 more mobile based towers will be required. This is affecting banking services, education and health services to the people living in these areas, Patnaik said. The introduction of new 5G services is not going to ameliorate the condition of denial of improved services and benefits to the rural people of Odisha, most of whom are tribal,the BJD spokesman said.