Digital India: Net roll out to GPs at snail’s pace

Bhubaneswar: Though the Centre recently launched the ‘Digital India’ scheme with an aim to make the nation digitally empowered, Odisha government’s attempt to provide internet service to all the gram panchayats (GPs) in the State has remained far behind.

The State has aimed to give internet facility to 6,236 GPs in the State by this year through optical fibre network while only 550 panchayats have been provided with the facility till now. All the GPs would be covered by the end of 2017, State Information Technology minister Pranab Prakash Das said.

While discussing the issue with Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Delhi on April 10, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had requested the Union Information and Broadcasting ministry to ensure net connectivity to panchayats of 16 districts by the year-end and remaining districts by 2016.

Notably, the State government, while reviewing the works of IT department last month, has decided to provide broadband connections to all panchayats within three years and to make Bhubaneswar wi-fi enabled in a year.