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All Blocks & Panchayats In Odisha To Have Internet Connectivity By May 2021

Bhubaneswar: High-speed internet connectivity to gram panchayats has been placed on top priority by the State Government. In a significant step towards this, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra today set a target to connect all gram panchayats and blocks with internet connectivity by May 2021.

Reviewing the progress of Bharat Net project in the State Level Implementation Committee meeting held here today, Mahapatra said, “In today’s context, internet connectivity is a basic requirement for maintaining high growth rate in rural sector. It will help the process of people’s empowerment and capacity building besides adding to quality education and health services. People can avail various services provided through online mode. GPs can also be connected through video conferencing.”

It was also decided that all Government offices including the schools, medicals, banks and common service centers could access the broad band connectivity. The telemedicine centers and agriculture kiosks would be connected for facilitating health care, e-learning and profitable agri-commerce.

Electronics and IT Secretary Manoj Mishra said with completion of the work, OCAC would be the chief bandwidth provider in remote areas of the State.

“The ground level activities have been put on the fast track. So far 3945 blocks and GPs have been provided the connectivity under Phase-I. The road map for connecting balance blocks and GPs have already been rolled out under Phase-II. The Phase-II work is being executed under the joint collaboration of OCAC, OPTCL, and Tarasoft,” said Mishra.

He added this infrastructure will bring all the GPs within the scope of the SWAN network. Its dark fibers can also be hired to the telecom and internet service providers on a commercial basis.

The project is being implemented in two phases. In the first phase, 3810 GPs and 181 blocks have been taken up. As of now, 3770 GPs and 175 blocks have been connected.

The work for connecting other 2954 GPs and 133 blocks of 12 districts has been taken up under Phase-II. Under this phase, around 20,000 kms of areal optical fiber is to be drawn; against which, drawing of 13,400 kms of cable has been completed.

Out of the total 3087 connection points ‘end to end testing’ have successfully been conducted in 1630 points.

Energy Secretary NB Dhal, Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Secretary Saurabh Garg, Home Secretary Sanjeev Chopra, Panchayati Raj Secretary DK Singh, Special Secretary IT Manoj Patnaik, Joint Secretary Sujit Mallick, and senior officers of OCAC and OPTCL were present at the meeting.

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