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BSNL sets up mobile towers along Amarnath route

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) Pilgrims to the Amarnath Shrine in Kashmir can now avail mobile telecom services as the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has set up 11 towers on the route.

‘Towers have been put up at Baltal-I, Baltal-II, Baltal Base Camp, Noonwan, Lakipora, Betab Valley, Domail, Sangam Cave, Panchtarni, Chandanwari and Chandanwari Base Camp – of which some are on motorable road and some are on pony track,’ said a statement of the communications ministry.

Minister of State for Communications Sachin Pilot Thursday launched the service, making the first call to Governor N.N. Vohra from the Amarnath cave.

BSNL provides connectivity to 95.22 percent of national highways passing through Jammu and Kashmir, 73.32 percent of the state highways and 100 percent railway routes.

With 1,299 mobile towers in Jammu and Kashmir, BSNL currently serves over 8.72 lakh mobile subscribers in the state. The statement said 284 more towers will be installed in 2010-11 to ensure smooth and widespread coverage.

Over 4 lakh pilgrims visit the shrine every year.

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