New Delhi: Over 37,000 villages in the country have not got mobile phone connectivity till March 2011, according to data from the telecom department.
Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday that "37,184 villages in the country are yet to be connected with mobile connectivity as on March 2011".
The minister also said that till July 31, the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has covered all district headquarters and 33,620 cities with GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) based cellular services.
About 579,486 villages, over 97 percent of the census 2001 inhabited revenue villages, have been covered with telephone connectivity through village public telephones.
Shared mobile infrastructure scheme has been launched by universal service obligation fund to provide subsidy support for setting up and managing 7,353 towers in 500 districts and over 27 states for provision of mobile services in the specified rural and remote areas.
Villages or cluster of villages having population of 2,000 or more and not having mobile coverage were taken into consideration for installation of the tower under this scheme, including hilly, tribal and Maoist-affected areas where there was no existing fixed wireless or mobile coverage.