Internet connectivity to all panchayats in 3yrs: Naveen

Bhubaneswar: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign getting momentum post demonetisation, the Odisha government has also outlined robust plans to spread internet connectivity to the remotest part of the State by 2020. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said the State government will provide internet connectivity to all gram panchayats (GPs) in next three years.

Addressing gathering at the Advantage Odisha-2017 conference here, Patnaik said, “We will connect every panchayat of the State with high speed internet in the next three years. This will help in boosting our aim of digital empowerment objective.”

Official sources said, the government aims to connect half of the 6,801 GPs by end of September.

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Principal secretary, Electronics and IT, Pradeep Kumar Jena who too was present on the occasion said, “The Centre’s National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) project, aiming to provide broadband connectivity to the GPs across the country, was suppose to complete the work in Odisha long back. But due to some reason or the other, Bharat Boradband Network Limited (BBNL) and its contractors have not at all started the work. But, going by the current pace of work, we hope we will be able to connect about 3,400 GPs with internet in 15 districts by September this year.”

“In the remaining 15 districts, they are not in a position to start the work. Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (OPTCL) has taken the responsibility to provide the panchayats with internet connectivity through overhead lines. In that case the wires will be laid along the electric wires on the existing poles.”

“By merely giving internet connectivity, the problem will not be addressed. Hence, all departments of the government are now coming up with various e-governance solutions so that the common man will be benefitted,” stated Jena.

Currently, almost all the panchayats of Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj district are connected with internet, he informed.

The 2-day Advantage Odisha-2017, jointly organised by Odisha Information and Technology department, Orissa Computer and Application Centre (OCAC), ABP group aims to provide a collaborative platform for investors, IT companies, policy makers and industry leaders to exchange dialogues and ideas on entrepreneurship in context of Odisha.