The government has completed the telecom network roll-out in left-wing extremism-affected areas across 10 states. This is part of the government’s Pragati Programme which seeks to boost development in these areas. The project was undertaken by state-run operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) along with telecom tower company Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL). As part of the project, VNL set up solar-powered telecom towers in the region using indigenously designed and manufactured technology in under 18 months. The company will also operate and manage the assets for a period of five years. The project is expected to benefit 18 million people in 22,688 villages across 10 states.