High-value optical fiber cable line laid by Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) to connect 100 village panchayats of the state’s Depalpur block is lying inactive for over a year.
According to BBNL officials, the project had cost around Rs 4 crore.
The line is yet to be activated because BSNL has failed to provide user end connectivity from the cable line to the computer terminals at the panchayats, alleged Depalpur block CEO Manish Bharadwaj.
It’s is imperative for all panchayats to have internet access because all money transactions are now done electronically.
These panchayats are now using dongles of various private companies for internet connectivity.
Bharadwaj alleged that even without providing the connectivity, the BSNL started sending monthly bills to the panchayats.
When contacted, BSNL (Indore circle) general manager M R Rawat said that he was not aware about the problem.
“It has not been brought to my notice. But now I will look into it at my level and get it solved. There is no reason why it should not be done,” he said.
The cable-laying project in these panchayats started in June 2015 after Depalpur was chosen for a pilot project under Prime Minister’s Digital India programme.
“The BBNL officials even completed line testing. It’s now the responsibility of the BSNL to provide the user end connectivity, which it has failed to do so far. We are being forced to use dongles which are much slower compared to the speed optical-fiber-cable connectivity provides,” Bharadwaj said.
“Initially, the BSNL said that it wanted around Rs 3100 as security deposit from each of the panchayats to provide the connectivity. But even after money was deposited, the BSNL is still not doing anything to activate the line,” he added.
“We have contacted the local SDO (telephones) and even the general manager (Indore circle) of BSNL M R Rawat, but our problem has not been solved. We have even told him that if some panchayat failed to deposit the money, he should give us their list and provide connectivity to at least those panchayats which have already made the payment” Bharadwaj said.