Residents of some remote villages in the north-eastern border state of Arunachal Pradesh are being denied mobile connectivity services of state-run telecom provider BSNL for over two years by some “vested interests”, an MP from the state has alleged in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ninong Ering, the Congress Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal East seat, has also faulted some un-named bureaucrats who, he alleged, were “acting unprofessionally” in this case.
Ering, in a recent letter to the PM, claimed that despite a “delayed” call of tenders in April 2016 for providing mobile connectivity to his region, “there has been a further delay of over five months even after tenders were evaluated, because USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) and BSNL are trying to include rejected bidders by manipulating the CVC and tender guidelines.”
“Despite your (PM) stated position on speedy execution of public investment projects and inexorable push towards Digital India, it seems vested interests are bent upon denying mobile connectivity to the people of North East region and in particular Arunachal Pradesh, the area that I represent.
“..it seems they want to deny the citizens of my villages their very voice. I have already informed about such delays being caused and perpetuated by bizarre action in my letters written (earlier),” Ering said.
The MP wondered “if some officials in the USOF and BSNL are working to distort and bend rules for reasons best known to them, by altering tender conditions, or favouring select bidders, passing the buck and ostensibly pitching for a re-tendering process even when clear bidders are in place,” he said.
The MP rued that while there are some “shining” bureaucrats in the country who are working hard to push India into a pre-eminent global position, there are “others who sully their example by acting unprofessionally”.
“It is time such individuals were held accountable for their actions,” he said, adding the border areas of his state were “highly sensitive due to sharing of international borders like China and Burma (Myanmar) in particular.”
“There are many places, villages and even towns which are yet to be exposed to the cellular technology. I therefore, urge you (PM) to personally examine the matter and take the strictest action possible, to prevent further delays in execution of this crucial project,” he said.
Arunachal Pradesh has two Lok Sabha seats and the other constituency, Arunachal West, is represented by Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju.