Odisha eyes high-speed internet for all panchayats by April 2021
The Odisha government has set the target to provide high-speed internet connectivity to all Gram Panchayats in phases by April 2021.
The target was announced at State-Level Implementation Committee Meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy on Tuesday.
Reviewing the progress made so far, Chief Secretary Tripathi directed to expedite implementation of the Phase-II Bharat Net programme and provide connectivity to all Gram Panchayats (GPs) by April 2021.
"The digital infrastructure will be an enabler of growth and development in the State," Tripathi quoted as saying in an official release.
Chief Secretary Tripathy also directed to give Wi-Fi connectivity at the main activity points of the GPs so that all government offices including the schools, medicals and banks can also access the connectivity.
During the meeting, it was decided that each GP would have five connection points for utilization by development institutions and Government offices. The main commercial place of the GPs would get Wi-Fi connection. The telemedicine centers, schools and agriculture kiosks would be connected for facilitating health care, e-learning and profitable agri-commerce.
Manoj Mishra, Secretary Electronics and IT appraised, "So far 22, 541 kms of optical fiber cable has been laid against the target of 27,610 Kms. The balance of 5069 kms will be completed soon. Similarly as of now, 4651 GPs and 230 blocks have been provided the connectivity. Rest blocks and GPs will be linked up in phases."
The ground level action plan for commissioning of connectivity at all GPs was discussed in the meeting. Chief Secretary asked Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water department to operationalize the internet points at the GPs as and when the connections are available.
The discussions in the meeting showed that Odisha Computer Application Centre (OCAC) under the Department of Electronics and IT is emerging as the chief Bandwidth provider in remote areas of the State. Secretary IT, Manoj Mishra said, "This infrastructure will bring all the GPs within the scope of SWAN network. Besides, its dark fibers can be hired to the telecom and internet service providers on a commercial basis".
It was decided to formulate an SPV (special purpose vehicle) involving the departments like Energy, Electronic and IT and Panchayati Raj for productive utilization of the digital infrastructure created in the State. Chief Secretary Tripathy directed to work out a viable business plan with self-sustaining models for the SPV.
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