Himachal Pradesh: Rural connectivity through broadband project suffers set back

  • Ajay Kumar Upadhyay, Hindustan Times, Bilaspur
  • Updated: May 30, 2015 20:04 IST

The execution of the dream to get broadband based linkages in all Gram Panchayats in Himachal Pradesh by setting underground 'optical fiber network' on April 12, 2013, under the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) project got into technical sung and its free of cost implementation got delayed.

Himachal Pradesh government had signed a the Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the department of Telecommunication, government of India and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) to start up this project. Under this project services like e-service and e-applications will be sent to remote areas of 32,453 gram panchayats for their development in this high tech world.

Sources revealed to Hindustan Times that, as a state subject, the state government was to provide free right-of-way and wave off the reinstatement charges as a part of the state contribution towards this project. However at this belated stage the state agency Public Works Department (PWD) has dictated upon the executing agency to pay reinstatement charges.

"With this over Rs 1000 crore projects, now we have apprehensions that if the project is delayed or further crippled the state will have to face setback in creating information and technologies highway" said a government official actively involved in this project.

When HT contacted the Principal Secretary of PWD Narinder Chauhan, he said that other than providing free Right-of-Way, they demand the company to pay the reinstatement charges to protect the state's interests.

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