With a view to staking a claim for the status of smart city for the chief minister's home constituency, the Karnal municipal corporation (KMC) is contemplating introduction of free Wi-Fi service in the main shopping areas of the city.
If the project materialises, it would be first city in Haryana where a municipality offers the free Internet service facility.
Municipal commissioner Sumedha Kataria told Hindustan Times on Friday that the facility would help in sensitising the local residents about the concept of digital governance.
"The concept is not merely aimed at providing free access to the Internet for entertainment. As the Centre and the state government is promoting e-governance, KMC wants people to use their mobile phones to exploit opportunities of availing official facilities without reaching government departments," she said.
COMMERCIAL AREAS TO BE COVERED
Kataria said that it was planned that the commercial areas such as Kunjpura Road, Committee Chowk and Sarafa Bazar could be covered in the first phase.
Routers or access points would be installed at various identified to provide Wi-Fi service and the range of each router would be fixed range.
To avail of the service, people need to register their mobile numbers and a passkey will be sent.
PAYMENT OF PENDING TAXES MAY HELP
However, she clarified that the ambitious project would be financially more workable if the local body is able to get pending taxes from the city residents.
Various central and state government establishments are among top defaulters that owe property tax arrears to the tune of `117 crore to KMC.
Aimed at improving fiscal health of the local bodies in Haryana, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had recently announced a one-time waiver on interest on property tax pending since 2010.
August 15 is the deadline to avail the interest waiver facility.
KMC hoped that individuals and institutions would clear their dues and the local body would have enough resources to introduce for similar projects.
Kataria said that the KMC would consult the state police authorities to sort out the security issues involved in the proposed facility.
Since the KMC has no information technology (IT) wing, the authorities have planned to hire a private professional consultant to chalk out the project.
WI-FI MC COMPOUND
Soon, the visitors to the Karnal MC's office at the Committee Chowk will be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi facility.
Municipal commissioner Sumedha Kataria said that the purchase orders for routers had been placed and the facility would be functional within a week's time.
"Visitors may simply get them registered to get a passkey from a helpdesk. The facility would be digitally controlled to ensure restrict use within the KMC compound," she said.