State-owned cellco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is planning to expand its presence in the Madhya Pradesh telecoms circle through the construction of 2,000 cell towers over the next two years, the Economic Times reports, citing ICT Minster Ravi Shankar Prasad. BSNL will deploy the towers throughout Chhattisgarh, the tenth largest state in India. The announcement follows a meeting between Mr Prasad and the state’s chief minister, Raman Singh, during which the latter requested the installation of 1,600 new mobile towers. The plan also comes after BSNL established 146 new towers in areas of the state affected by left wing extremism: the government has been using improvements to communications infrastructure to help combat Naxalite insurgents, as the networks allow members of the public to inform on the guerrilla group’s movements. ‘Maoists want to cause damage to roads, electricity supply, health and education facilities but through the communication medium, we are doing the job of connecting people. Today, 146 BSNL towers were dedicated in Maoist-hit areas of the state. 35 more towers will soon be installed in these areas,’ the telecom minister was quoted as saying.