RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh Government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Centre for the second phase of the Bharat Net project under which 5987 village panchayats will be connected through optical fiber network.
The MoU will pave the way for laying 32,466 kms of optical fiber cable in 5987 Gram Panchayats of the state at a cost of Rs 1624 crore, Chief Minister Raman Singh said.
Union Minister of State for Telecommunications Manoj Sinha, present during the signing, said that Chhattisgarh is the first state in the country to use the ultramodern "ring architecture technology" to connect village panchayats by optical fiber to ensure better connectivity.
Sinha also said that the Centre had sanctioned Rs 1830 crore for the installation of 1028 mobile towers in the naxal-affected regions of Chhattisgarh.
He said that by March next year, 26 India Post payment banks will be set up in Chhattisgarh.
"Under the second phase of Bharat Net project for which agreement has been signed with eight states, 1.5 lakh villages will be connected through optical fiber network across the country. In the first phase, one lakh villages have been covered," Sinha said.
He added that a high level committee has been constituted which is making efforts to introduce 5G mobile networks in the country soon.
Speaking on the occasion, CM Singh said that the Bharat Net project will cater to the needs of the last person in remote regions.
"The priorities in remote regions like Abujmarh (considered severely naxal-affected) have also changed with people demanding mobile connectivity along with roads, schools and hospitals," he said.
"For the expansion of digital connectivity, work is underway on three projects worth Rs 3400 crore namely Bharat Net, Bastar Net and Suchna Kranti Yojna (SKY)," Singh said.
At present work is in progress to link about four thousand gram panchayats with optical fiber network, he added.
The CM said a committee headed by the Chief Secretary would draft a detailed action plan for the better utilisation of digital technology and would submit its report in four months.
The four-party agreement, involving the union telecommunications department, Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), the state’s Information and Technology Department and Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (ChIPS), was signed today.