In a very positive development for the gram panchayats, the government of India has indicated that around 80,000 gram panchayats have been enabled with broadband connectivity under BharatNet program. The government is also aiming to extend the facility to 1 lakh more gram panchayats by the next month.
The Communications Minister Manoj Sinha claimed that under BharatNet pragram phase-I, a total of one lakh gram panchayats were to be provided with broadband connectivity by March end this year. The government intends to provide broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country.
Mr. Sinha was reverting to a query in the Rajya Sabha regarding the government’s broadband connectivity scheme.
In a written reply, Mr. Sinha claimed that cable-laying work in many states like Kerala, Karnataka, Chhatisgarh, Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is almost 100% complete.
He said a total of 1,127 WiFi hotspots in various gram panchayats will be set up in the coming days and a total of 25,000 public WiFi hotspots at rural telephone exchanges are to be installed and 5,000 WiFi ‘chaupals’ are to be set up.