Raipur: Airtel will invest Rs.1.8 billion in Chhattisgarh during the next two years to challenge the dominance of government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
The company has given a presentation last week before Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and informed him that it wanted to boost networking all over the state, including the Maoist-dominated remote Bastar and Surguja regions where the BSNL has monopoly.
"Currently, Airtel has presence in just 12 cities in Chhattisgarh and it wants to be the leading telecom service provider in the state by expanding its services in the Moist-dominated Bastar and Surguja regions," company sources said.
"The chief minister has appreciated company’s plan, especially boosting services in remote belt of Surguja region sharing border with Jharkhand and in Bastar bordering Andhra Pradesh," sources added.
A government press release informed Singh has assured Airtel of providing no-objection certificates within a week from local bodies, village panchayats and energy department in a bid to help it to boost services in the poverty-stricken and scheduled caste and scheduled tribe dominated belts.
As many as four companies – Airtel, Reliance, Tata Indicom and BSNL – are currently providing services in Chhattisgarh. However, only BSNL has presence in all the 16 districts in the state.