62 gram panchayats to go hi-tech soon

62 gram panchayats to go hi-tech soon

Sixty-two gram panchayats across the country will soon go hi-tech as they will be connected with fibre network soon. The Centre’s grandiose plan of national broadband network that aims  to provide high speed internet connection to all the gram panchayats has already begun.

The laying of optical cable on pilot basis is in progress in three blocks—Arain in Rajasthan, Panisagar in Tripura and Paravada in Andhra Pradesh; it will be completed  by October 15. Once the pilot project is completed in all the three taluks, 62 gram panchayats will be connected with fibre network, said a status report on broadband network prepared by the Department of Telecom (DoT).

The C-DoT already completed the demonstration of the project. Pilot trails will commence after October 15. During the pilot project, various activities including e-learning, tele-medicine and skill development will be tested. Based on the outcome of the project, the process of laying the optical cable across the country covering 2.45 lakh gram panchayats will begin. The task for laying the cable has been given to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Railtel, Powergrid. The project is expected to be completed by 2014.

The government at the Centre is investing Rs 20,000 crore in the project that hopes to connect 160 million Indian house holds with high speed internet. At present, the number of broadband connections in the country is 10.3 million.

The 11 states—Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Daman and Diu have given their consent for the project,  and rest of the states are under process, says the report.

Under the National Optical Fibre Network scheme, the government aims for an inclusive growth through broadband in different sectors including education, medical treatment and entertainment. Besides, it will also help to provide e-governance and citizen-centric services particularly in the rural areas. The government formed special purpose vehicle Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) to roll out the broadband network.

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