Odisha eyes high-speed internet for all panchayats by April’21: Tech News

Christel Deskins

The Odisha government on Tuesday set a goal to provide high-speed Internet access to all 6,798 panchayats in the state by April next year, officials said. The decision was made at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary AK Tripathy, they said. He considered the progress made so far and was […]

The Odisha government on Tuesday set a goal to provide high-speed Internet access to all 6,798 panchayats in the state by April next year, officials said. The decision was made at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary AK Tripathy, they said.

He considered the progress made so far and was in charge of electronics and information Technology (E&IT) Department to accelerate the implementation of Phase II of the BharatNet program and provide connectivity to all gram panchayats by April 2021. “The digital infrastructure will enable growth and development in the state,” said Tripathy.

He also indicated that Wi-Fi connectivity should be provided at the panchayats’ main activity points. All government offices, including the schools, medical centers and banks, also have access to the connectivity, he said.

Each panchayat would have five connection points for use by institutions and government offices, Tripathy said. The main commercial place of the panchayats would get a Wi-Fi connection. The telemedicine centers, schools and agricultural kiosks would be connected to facilitate healthcare, e-learning and agro-commerce, he said.

Development Commissioner SC Mohapatra suggested that the department set up a system for regular maintenance and upkeep of the infrastructure, including the cables, to ensure uninterrupted connectivity. “To date, 22,541 km of fiber optic cable has been laid against the target of 27,610 km. The remaining 5,069 km of cable laying works will be completed shortly, ”said E&IT secretary M Mishra.

To date, 4,651 panchayats and 230 blocks have been provided with connectivity, and the remaining will be linked in stages, he said. The meeting also decided to formulate an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) involving the Energy, E&IT and Panchayati Raj divisions for productive use of the digital infrastructure created in the state.

The chief secretary also instructed officials to develop a viable business plan with self-sustaining models for the SPV.

News Highlights:

  • The decision was made at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary AK Tripathy, they said. He considered the progress made so far and was in charge of electronics and information Technology (E&IT) Department to accelerate the implementation of Phase II of the BharatNet program and provide connectivity to all gram panchayats by April 2021.
  • Odisha will be looking to high-speed internet for all panchayats by April ’21

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