The push by the Narendra Modi-led central government to make the internet safe and accessible for all citizens, especially in the far-fetched regions, is said to be one of the most important tools of development in the northeast region. Union Minister for Information and Technology and Communications, Ashwini Vaishnaw, along with Kiren Rijiju and Chief Minister Pema Khandu launched 254 towers that will enable 4G network in Arunachal Pradesh.
The new infrastructure will connect at least 70,000 residents in villages near the LAC in India, which is significant in light of China’s ongoing expansion near the LAC. Tawang and other border districts are experiencing fast-paced improvements, as reported by ANI.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju believes that providing the best possible internet connectivity is essential for the people’s development and motivation. Locals hailed the Modi government’s move.
A car mechanic, Hussain from Changbu village in Tawang district said, “Earlier, there was an issue if there was a car breakdown or any mechanical matter. But now with high-speed connectivity, it becomes easier to access the details of the problem and even track down customer location. This will help in making a job easier.” Tashi Yangchin, a government employee explained how important it is for children.
“The use of the internet helps in connecting friends and family across the world, especially for children who want to stay connected to their friends and also use the internet for study, especially in the post-Covid times,” he said.
Ever since the 1962, India-China war, the border district of Tawang has always been on the edge. A few kilometres away from the China border, Tawang, has an extreme importance strategically. Its population of nearly 50,000 comprises 10,000 urban dwellers and the rest living in rural areas. The provision of fast internet is not just essential for the citizens but also for the administration as it signifies a significant step towards better governance and progress of the state.
“The delivery of governance has become a lot easier. This region has many areas with poor connectivity, making it difficult for people to access governance. Now, the government is at the people’s doorstep,” stated Leta, the acting district collector for Tawang. There is a significant amount of improvement in internet connectivity in the region. However, there is more that needs to be done.
According to Sonam, a local hotel owner, accessing the internet becomes difficult without a reliable power supply. “While it is a good start, there is still a long way to go, and several issues need to be addressed,” he added. Currently, Tawang, a popular Buddhist town, has 25 Airtel towers, 21 BSNL towers, and 13 Vodafone towers providing 2G connectivity. The process of upgrading these towers from 2G to 4G is underway, and 10 of the towers have already been made operational. The recent launch of 254 4G mobile towers in Arunachal Pradesh is expected to cover a population of over 70,000 and serve more than 336 villages.