There are more than 50,000 villages in the country that are yet to get mobile phone connectivity. Among the country’s states, Odisha has the largest number of villages – 9,940 – without mobile phone connectivity.
These villages in Odisha still do not have basic mobile connectivity, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad told Lok Sabha. Of these, 7,851 villages or 79 percent fall under districts categorized as Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared the list of LWE affected districts in February 2019. Odisha houses 15 such districts as per the records. However, most of these non-connected villages are a part of LWE affected districts. These include Anugul, Balangir, Bargarh, Baudh, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabranagapur, Nayagarh, Nuapada, Rayagada, Sambalpur, and Sundargarh.
The Odisha consists of a 47,677 inhabited villages as per the Census 2011. Out of these villages, only 37,737 villages (79 percent) are covered i.e. have mobile network connectivity while 9940 villages (20.9 percent) are still waiting to be connected by the wireless network.
The total of non-connected villages in LWE affected areas is 7851 villages which accounts for 83.2 percent of the total non-connected villages. There are 22363 villages in total which fall under the LWE category. Of these villages, 14512 have the mobile or wireless connectivity infrastructure.
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