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Centre assign telecom network projects worth Rs 25,000 crore to BSNL

New Delhi: The central Government has consigned BSNL with various telecom network projects worth around Rs 25,000 crore, Parliament was informed on Friday.

The projects include laying of optical fibre based network dedicated for use only by Defence worth Rs 13, 334 crore and Rs 6,500 crore for execution of the second phase of BharatNet Project, as per details shared by Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha in Rajya Sabha today.

"Optical Fibre Cable based Network for Defence Services (NFS Project) has been given to BSNL on nomination basis at the cost of Rs 13,334 crore. For the execution of the BharatNet project, the government has provided Rs 5,744 crore in Phase-I and has earmarked Rs 6,500 crore in Phase-II for BSNL," Sinha said.

The BSNL has been awarded rolling out mobile networks in uncovered villages in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam at an estimated project cost of Rs 1,975.38 crore, implementation of transmission-media plan for North Eastern Region at an estimated cost of Rs 295.97 crore, laying of submarine optical fiber cable project at the cost of Rs 1,900 crore for providing connectivity to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) and augmenting of satellite bandwidth in ANI and Lakshadweep Islands at an estimated cost of Rs 120.49 crore.

"Work of setting up of 25000 Wi-Fi Hotspots at Rural Telephone Exchanges at the cost of Rs 940 crore has been given to BSNL on nomination basis," Sinha said.

He was replying to question over the revival of state-run telecom firm BSNL and MTNL. Both public sector telecom firms have been incurring losses continuously since Financial Year 2009-10 and as per Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) guidelines, both CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) have been declared as “Incipient Sick”, Sinha said.

"Consequent upon declaration of BSNL as “Incipient Sick”, action has been initiated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for preparation of a revival/restructuring plan for BSNL as per DPE guidelines. Three Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) have been requested to submit their willingness for undertaking a study and preparation of a revival/restructuring plan for BSNL," the minister said. 

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