Students, farmers in Malnad fail to go online

Hartal Halappa draws govt.’s attention to poor cell phone connectivity

Poor connectivity posing serious problems to students and farmers in the hilly region of Malnad, at a time when online transactions have gained significance, came up for discussion in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

BJP member Hartal Halappa drew the State government’s attention to poor cell phone connectivity owing to the absence of towers and difficulties experienced particularly by students and farmers.

Mr. Halappa, who raised the issue during the Zero Hour in the Assembly, said students of primary and high schools, who were in large numbers, had not been able to attend online classes owing to poor internet connectivity.

Farmers too had not been able to avail of facilities offered by government schemes. Many families were not able to avail of rations in the PDS shops since they were not receiving OTP on their cell phones after the “point of sale” system was introduced by the Department of Food and Civil Supplies, he said. For instance, more than 50% of the geographical area in Sagar constituency had not been accessible to cell phone usage owing to absence of towers, he said t.

Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said in his constituency, Sirsi, too more than 50% of the geographical area was not reachable by cell phone owing to absence of towers.

Mr. Halappa said many benefits under schemes of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and Agriculture departments had been denied to farmers for no fault of theirs owing to poor connectivity.

Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar said the government would hold talks with private players to install towers on a cost-sharing terms. Cost of each tower ranges from ₹30 lakh to ₹50 lakh.

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