In remote Bihar tribal villages, trees keep people connected to the outer world

People sitting on tree branches and talking on cellphones is a common sight outside hilly villages in Adhaura block of Bihar’s Kaimur district.
Villagers have to climb trees for mobile connectivity outside Barwan village in Bihar's Kaimur district.(HT photo)
Villagers have to climb trees for mobile connectivity outside Barwan village in Bihar's Kaimur district.(HT photo)
Published on Nov 18, 2017 02:31 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Bhabua | ByPrasun K Mishra, Bhabua

In remote tribal villages atop hills in southwest Bihar’s Kaimur district, trees keep people connected to the outer world.

People sitting on tree branches and talking on cellphones is a common sight outside hilly villages in Adhaura block, 54 km south of district headquarters Bhabua and 250 km southwest of state capital Patna.

“In our village, virtually inapproachable by any motor vehicle, we get mobile connectivity only after climbing trees,” said Saheb Kharwar and Ram Dayal Kharwar, who claims to be a former mukhiya of Barwan panchayat.

About 45,000 people in 108 villages of Adhaura and 50 others in hilly terrain of Rampur, Chainpur and Chand blocks depend on the lone BSNL tower for telecommunication connectivity.

More mobile towers and electricity poles have not been installed in the area due to objections by the forest department as it falls under the Kaimur wildlife sanctuary.

“The ordeal of the tribals will end soon. The Union home ministry has agreed to the proposal for installing 82 solar mobile towers in the area and the BSNL has been assigned to complete the work. We have identified the locations and hope that the work will be start from March next year,” Kaimur district magistrate Rajeshwar Prasad Singh said.

The eco-friendly towers would also help in better monitoring of government welfare schemes as well as facilitate effective operations by security forces against Maoists without causing any harm to forests and wildlife, Singh added.

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